Border Guard Formation
History The bodies of the border guard of Russia leave in the pre-revolutionary period of the existence of the Russian state. The protection of the state border has always played a strategic role in ensuring the country's defense and security, therefore, as the Russian state strengthened, the mechanisms for protecting the state border were improved, including the development of bodies responsible for protecting the country's borders. Although the units guarding the state border existed in Russia as early as the 16th century, the centralization and streamlining of border guard activities dates back to the first half of the 19th century. For a long time, huge sections of the state border were protected by the Cossacks. Cossacks as irregular armed forces bore the main service for the protection of the state border, but there was a need to centralize the state border protection system, especially since large sections of the border passed in those regions where there were no traditional areas of Cossacks. Accordingly, there was a need to strengthen the existing units of guards who had previously performed customs functions.
In August, 1827 adopted a regulation on the organization of border customs guards, in accordance with which the border guards acquired the character of a regular armed unit with a uniform structure, acting on the model of an army unit. The armament of the border guards, its uniform and the organization of everyday life were reduced to a single model. The border guards were divided into brigades, semi-brigades and companies, subordinate to the heads of customs districts. In total, four brigades were created. The Vilna brigade consisted of five companies, the Grodno one — three companies, the Volyn one — four companies and the Kherson one — three companies. In addition, the border guards carried seven half-brigades of two companies each - St. Petersburg, Estlyandskaya, Livonia, Kurlyandskaya, Odessa, Tavricheskaya and Taganrog. Two separate companies were also created - the White Sea and Kerch-Yenikalskaya. Thus, the total number of companies border guards reached 31. The border guard units served as 11 brigade and semi-brigade commanders, 31 company commander, 119 guards and 156 assistant guards, 37 clerks, 3282 guards, and 2018 equestrian and 1264 foot guards. In 1835, the customs border guard received the name of the border guard, and its number was gradually increased.
The growth in the number of border guards of the Russian Empire was inextricably linked with the processes of further strengthening Russian statehood and streamlining the borders of the country. In 1851, the customs frontiers of the Russian Empire were transferred to the external borders of the Kingdom of Poland, after which it became necessary to create new border guard brigades. So there were three more brigades - Verzhbolovskaya, Kalishskaya and Zavikhotskaya. Border Guard personnel were increased by 26 officers and 3760 guards. In total, 1853 served as a staff officer, 73 chief officer, and 493 11 lower ranks of the border guards as part of the border guard. In accordance with the 000 Customs Regulations, the structure of the border guard was established in the 1857 brigades and 8 semi-brigades, 6 is a separate company of border guards. Thus, the border guard was divided into the 1 mouth of the border guard. In 58, to streamline the internal structure of the border guard, the semi-brigade was also transformed into a brigade of the border guard. The total number of border guards in the period under review reached 1859 13 people, including 000 officers.
The detachments of which the border guard companies consisted were commanded by the sergeant-generals and non-commissioned officers with extensive experience in the border service. Training teams were set up to train sergeants and non-commissioned officers at border teams in 1860. This measure was explained by the growing need of border guards for junior commanders who are able to command border detachments and separate posts. The principle of manning the border guards was changed. From 1861, border guards were recruited by recruiting - that is, as well as the regular army. From the army and the soldiers were selected in the border guards. By the end of 1870's The internal structure of the border brigade was also streamlined. Each brigade should now have 75 officers and 1200 lower ranks. When brigades were introduced the position of headquarters officers for assignments and inspectors of the border guards.
Border Guard Structure
In the Russian Empire, border guards have always been directly subordinate to the departments of the economic profile. Prior to 1864, the Department of Foreign Trade was in charge of state border protection, and on October 26, 1864 was renamed the Department of Customs Charges. The head of the Department was the privy councilor of state-secretary Dmitry Alexandrovich Obolensky. The total number of border guards by 1866 was 13 152 officer and lower rank. The border guard brigade was responsible for guarding the state border in the territory from 100 to 1000 miles. He was commanded by a border guard brigade of a colonel or even a major general. The brigade consisted of divisions headed by lieutenant colonels and detachments led by headquarters officers and captains. A company of border guards served in the area from 200 to 500 miles of border. From two to seven companies made up the brigade. The company consisted of the 2-3 squad, and they, in turn, included 15-20 posts headed by watchmen and noncommissioned officers. For one rank of border guard, there was a section of the border from 2 to 5 miles. The senior post and the detachment commander were engaged in the daily organization of the guard duty, including putting guards numbering from 1 to 5 to the border line. Pedestrian border guard officers carried guard posts, and mounted guards made patrols between the posts. The tasks of the cavalry guards included the detection and capture of smugglers and border intruders trying to break through the stationary posts of the border guard. As foreign trade developed, the number of smugglers and attempts to smuggle goods across the state border increased. A particularly important task of the frontier guards during the period under review was to prevent the banned literature and weaponswhich were used by numerous radical socialist and separatist groups. In 1877, in the border guard of the Russian Empire, the army disciplinary charter was adopted as the basis, after which the post of commander of the border brigade was equated to the post of regiment commander, and the post of head of the customs district was equated to the post of commander of the army brigade.
In the conditions of constantly aggravating relations with the Ottoman Empire, the most numerous concerns of state power were caused by the situation on the Russian-Turkish border. The southern frontiers of Russia were the least controlled, but at the same time, strategically important and subjected to constant attempts to violate the border by both smugglers and Turkish spies. Smuggling was actively supported by the Ottoman Empire, hoping with its help to undermine the economy of the Russian Empire. Behind the Ottoman Empire stood the main strategic opponent of Russia - the United Kingdom, which also made enormous efforts to weaken the Russian economy. Increasing the effectiveness of the fight against smugglers required an increase in the number of border guards on the southern borders of the country, primarily on the Black Sea coast. In November, 1876 increased the strength of the Tauride Border Guard Brigade, which included new posts for 2 department commanders, 1 detachment officer and 180 lower ranks. It also increased the number of posts and personnel who served in posts. By the beginning of the Russian-Turkish war 1877-1878. the number of border guards reached 575 officers and 14 700 lower ranks.
Protection of maritime lines
Sea smuggling became a serious problem for the Russian state in the period under review. The coastal sections of the state border were the least protected, there were few border posts, so the smugglers calmly unloaded consignments of goods from ships and then carried them into the country. In order to resist sea smuggling, the state decided to equip the border guards in coastal districts with pilot boats and give it military ships. Thus, in 1865, three pilotage boats were acquired in Norway and delivered to the Revel customs district. The Libavsky customs district was given military ships, which were supposed to be used for the border guard of the Courland coast. The frontier boats carried out patrols along the coast, actually performing the same functions as the mounted border guards on land. The duties of the border team, located on the boat, were to stop and inspect vessels that were suspicious of smuggling of goods.
In order to enhance the experience of organizing maritime border guards, the head of the Riga Customs District, Rear Admiral Shtofregen, went to the UK and France. After the trip, he collected and submitted to a special commission materials on improving the effectiveness of the maritime border guard. As a result of the work of the commission, "Additional legislative decisions regarding Russian and foreign ships entering the territorial sea" and "Instructions for the actions of cruisers established for sea persecution of smuggling" were adopted. In addition to coast guard, marine coastal surveillance was established, also subordinate to the customs department.
The official date for the establishment of maritime border surveillance can be considered July 1, 1868, when the State Council considered and approved maritime supervision of the non-introduction of smuggling vessels. However, in fact, the creation of units providing control over the marine sections of the state border took place in the early 1870s. In 1872, Emperor Alexander II reacted positively to the idea of the Ministry of Finance, according to which cruising was to be created in the Baltic Sea flotilla. Large funds were allocated for the creation of the marine border flotilla, and on July 4, 1873, the Regulation on the Baltic Cruising Customs Flotilla and its staff were approved. In accordance with this provision, the structure of the flotilla and the order of service were approved. The fleet consisted of 10 ships, 1 steam rescue boat and 101 boats. The ships of the flotilla were on the lists of the navy, but in peacetime were under the authority of the Ministry of Finance, and specifically the Department of Customs Fees. The fleet management included a chief in the rank of rear admiral, a clerk - a civil servant, mechanical engineer, ship engineer, naval artillery officer, senior doctor. The total number of the flotilla was 156 people, including 26 officers led by Rear Admiral P.Ya. In a sheet. The Baltic customs cruising flotilla began serving in the summer of 1873. Each cruiser of the flotilla was at the disposal of the command of the coastal border guard brigades. The cruisers' tasks included, first of all, the suppression of smuggling, which was a very difficult task, since the population of coastal villages was closely connected with smugglers and had their own financial “bonuses” from cooperation with violators of the state border. Locals monitored the cruisers' routes and reported to the smugglers, which also made it difficult to catch border violators. Nevertheless, maritime border surveillance has contributed greatly to the organization of the defense of the state border on the Baltic Sea. Over the course of ten years, over XNUMX ships carrying smuggled goods were detained by maritime border guard units. At the same time, the limited financial resources made it possible to have maritime border surveillance only in the Baltic Sea. Other coastal waters of the Russian Empire were protected only by coastal border posts.
Strengthening the border guards at the end of the XIX century
The fight against smuggling remained the most important task of the border guard. In 1883, the customs districts were consolidated, the number of which was brought to seven with centers in St. Petersburg, Vilna, Warsaw, Berdichev, Odessa, Tiflis and Tashkent. At the same time, there was an increase in the number of personnel of the border guard, which in 1889 numbered 36 519 lower ranks and 1147 officers. They were merged into the 32 Brigade and 2 Special Division. At the same time, military ranks were ordered - ranks in the cavalry units of the Russian army were introduced into the border guards. The ensign was called the cornet, the staff captain and captain were the head-captain and captain, respectively. The tasks to improve the state border protection system required the creation of new border guard units, primarily in those regions of the Russian Empire where the least protected parts of the state border were located. One of these regions was the Caucasus. In 1882-1883 the Black Sea, Baku and Kars brigades of the border guards were created with a total of 75 officers and 2401 lower ranks. In 1894, it was decided to form border units in Central Asia. 6 June 1894 The emperor signed a decree establishing the Transcaspian Border Guard Brigade with 1559 officers and lower ranks, and the Amu Darya Brigade of Border Guard with 1035 officers and lower ranks. The tasks of these brigades included the protection of the state border in the territory of modern Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
During the period under review, the border guard was under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance. Initially, the functions of the border guard were merged with the functions of the customs service, since the border guards were part of the Department of customs duties. However, with the growing need for the development of the Border Guard and the increase in its size, the leadership of the country became aware of the need to separate the border guards into a separate structure, as required by the current situation in the sphere of state border protection. As a result, 15 in October 1893 was created by a Separate Corps of Border Guards, also subordinate to the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Empire, but separated into a separate structure from the customs service. In wartime, the corps passed into the operational subordination of the Ministry of War. The main functions of the corps included border security and the fight against smuggling. Border guards ceased to engage in customs duties from the moment they were allocated to a special corps, while border guards were charged with assisting the army in conducting military operations at the border in wartime.
The leadership of the border guard corps was carried out by the Minister of Finance, who was also the chief of the border guard. He was subordinate to the Corps commander, who directly supervises the border guards. The first chief of the Separate Corps of the Border Guard was the then Minister of Finance of the Russian Empire, Count Sergei Yulievich Vitte. The commander of the Separate Corps of the Border Guard was the artillery general A.D. Svinin. Alexander Dmitrievich Svinin (1831-1913) before being appointed the first commander of the border corps served in artillery. In 1851, the 20-year-old warrant officer, Svinin, was assigned to the 3 Brigade of Field Artillery. In 1875, he was appointed commander of the 1 battery of the 29 artillery brigade, then the 1 battery of the 30 artillery brigade. He participated in the Russian-Turkish war 1877-1878. In 1878-1879 he was the assistant chief of the artillery of the principality of Bulgaria, then commanded the 30 artillery brigade and was the chief of the artillery of the 7 army corps and the Guards corps. From 15 in October 1893 to 13 in April 1908, General of Artillery Svinin headed the Separate Corps of the Border Guard. It was an experienced army officer who actually created the system of protection of the state border of the Russian Empire.
The corps commander subordinated to the corps headquarters, which directly organized the recruitment, service and combat training and material and technical support of the units of the Separate border guard corps. The corps' activity was reduced to the performance of two main types of service - the guard and intelligence services. The guard service assumed monitoring of the state border, intelligence service - the implementation of military and undercover intelligence in the area of the state border in order to collect information about a possible violation of the state border. The state border was divided into distances, each of which was under the authority of the officer of the border guard. The distances were divided into patrols, which were guarded by cordons or posts of the border guard. The guarding of the border sections was carried out in the following ways: sentry, secret, horse riding and detour, flying squadron, sentry at the customs slingshot, duty officer at the post, ambush. Border outfits also acted on the railway - to combat attempts to smuggle contraband by rail.
Troubled border in the East
The protection of the state border in the eastern part of the country remained a serious problem for the Russian state during the period under review. First of all, we are talking about the Far East, where there were unresolved territorial disputes with China. When the Russian government nevertheless managed to agree with the imperial government of China on the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway through Manchuria, there was a need to create border units on the Chinese-Eastern Railway. The very fact of the functioning of the CER and the great dissatisfaction of the Chinese authorities and the Japanese government, which claimed influence in Manchuria. From time to time, Chinese gangsters, the Hunghuzes, attacked the CEL facilities, and during the Ihehetuan uprising in 1900, about 1000 kilometers of the railway were destroyed. The Russian population, represented by the CER employees and service personnel, was also at risk of being robbed and killed by Chinese gangsters. Therefore, in order to ensure the safety of the railway, cargo and infrastructure, security was established, subordinate to the administration of the railway and funded from the budget of the CER. When in 1897 the builders of the Construction Directorate of the CER under the guidance of engineer A.I. Shydlouski, they were accompanied by the foot Kuban half-fifty of Esaula Pievievsky. Since the Russian Empire, in accordance with the agreement concluded with China, did not have the right to keep regular ground forces units in the CEL, it was decided to entrust the task of protecting the railway itself and its builders with specially formed Security Guard of the CER, which was staffed with military personnel and border guards. retired officers and non-commissioned officers of the regular Russian army. The number of the guard of the CER was 699 equestrian lower ranks and 120 officers. The chief of the guard was directly subordinate to the chief engineer of the CER. During the uprising of Ikhetuan, the Security Guard, along with the regular army, participated in the hostilities against the Chinese insurgents, preventing attempts at sabotage on the railway and attacks on the residences of employees and builders of the Chinese-Eastern Railway. The CEL security guard had its own uniforms. The guards of the CER were wearing blue trousers and black cuffs, the edging of the trousers, the buttonholes were yellow, as was the top of the papakhi. The caps had black ribs and yellow crowns. The officers' uniforms of the buttonhole were black with yellow edging. The guards did not have shoulder straps on the uniform - instead of them the officers wore gilt-coated shoulder straps, and the sergeants and insignia wore galloons on their sleeves.
In 1901, on the basis of the security division of the CER was created Zaamurskiy District Border Guard. The commander of the district became Colonel A.A. Gengross. The district had a strategic importance in ensuring the defense capability and security of the Far East, as it provided protection for the CER and its adjacent territories. The county staff was installed in 55 hundreds of horseback, 55 mouth and 6 equestrian batteries. They united in 12 squads and 4 border brigades. The total number of border guards of the Zaamur district was about 25 thousands of officers and lower ranks. 24 training teams, an artillery training team and an artillery depot were located on the territory of the district. Thus, Zaamursky Border District occupied a special position in the structure of the Separate Corps of the Border Guard. The number of officers and lower ranks in the units of the district reached 25 thousand people, and in the Separate Corps of the Border Guard, if you do not take into account the Zaamursky district, only 35 thousand people served. That is, in terms of numbers, the district was not much smaller than the entire corps of the country's border guards. The section of the railway between Kayuan and Harbin was guarded by the 2 th brigade of the district consisting of 18 companies, 18 cavalry hundreds and 3 artillery batteries. Also in the competence of this brigade was the protection of water territory - the river Sungari from Harbin to the Amur. The section of the railway between Kayuan and Port Arthur was under the jurisdiction of the 4-th brigade of the border guard, the composition and structure of which were not much weaker than the 2-th brigade. Border units in Transcaucasia and Central Asia, guarding the state border with Persia, Turkey and Afghanistan, had a certain commonality with the border divisions on the CER. Here the service was the most intense, because besides the smugglers there was a constant risk of the state border crossing by armed gangs committing robberies. The border guards were responsible for guarding the Black Sea and Caspian coasts, only the area between Gagra and Gelendzhik was guarded by the Cossack army.
The Black Sea area was patrolled by the flotilla cruisers of the Separate Corps of the Border Guard. To support the border guards in the South Caucasus were allocated units of the regular army and the Cossack troops. In particular, three companies from the 20 and 39 infantry divisions were assigned to the Karsky Brigade of the Border Guard, and to the Erivan Brigade of the Border Guard - a company of the 39th Infantry Division. In the Amur District and Transbaikalia, border guard service was carried by three hundred Zaamur District border guards with a total of 350 officers and lower ranks. In the Pamir region, the Pamir army detachment guarded the state border, a number of sections of the state border continued to be protected by Cossack units in the early twentieth century.
When the Russo-Japanese war broke out, the Zaamur district of the border guard was directly involved in it. The units of the border guards not only guarded the line of the CER, but also participated in military clashes with the Japanese troops, prevented sabotage and attacks of the Chinese gangsters, the Hunhuz. Total units of the district participated in 200 combat clashes, and also prevented 128 sabotage on the railway. District units participated in hostilities in the area of Port Arthur, Liaoyang and Mukden. Operationally, during the war years, the district was subordinate to the command of the Manchurian army. In the postwar period, the protection of the CER began to decline, which was due to the Portsmouth Peace Treaty. October 14 1907 Zaamurskiy district was reorganized and from that time included 54 companies, 42 hundreds, 4 batteries and 25 training teams. All these units made up the 12 squads, united in three brigades. The Zaamur district hospital was also opened to treat wounded and sick border guards. At the district headquarters, schools of Japanese and Chinese were organized, time-consuming work was carried out to create topographic maps and conduct topographic studies. In 1910, the district was reorganized again, this time in the direction of greater "militarization" of its structure. The district now included 6 foot and 6 cavalry regiments, including 60 companies and 36 hundreds with 6 machine-gun teams and 7 training units. In addition, 4 artillery batteries, a demining company and service units were at the disposal of the district headquarters. In 1915, a significant part of the personnel of the Zaamur district of the border guard, as a fresh force, was sent to the Austro-German front to participate in hostilities.
The structure of the Zaamursky district of the border guard included the Zaamursky border railway brigade. Its formation began in 1903, and for the first year it included the management of a brigade and four three-battalion battalions. In May, the 1904 of the 1 and 2 battalions of the brigade became four-quarter battalions, and the 3 and 4 battalions became five-quarter battalions. The brigade’s task was to ensure the uninterrupted operation of the China Eastern Railway, especially during periods of emergency. The basis of the formation of the brigade became the railway and engineer companies of the Russian army. The number of railway companies was 325 lower ranks, including 125 lower ranks were allocated from the railway and demining units, and 200 people - from the infantry. During the war with Japan, it was the Zaamur railway brigade that bore the main tasks of ensuring the smooth operation and protection of the Chinese Eastern Railway. In particular, the units of the brigade resolved issues related to the organization of the transportation of troops, the evacuation of wounded servicemen, the provision of full operation of railway lines, and the restoration of damaged railways.
- a group of lower ranks of the battalion of the Zaamur border railway brigade
By 1914, the Zaamur frontier railway brigade consisted of the divisions of the brigade’s administration and headquarters, three broad-gauge eight-rifle regiments. The brigade was subordinate to the commander of the Separate corps of the border guard, but acted as a base for combat training of the specialists of the imperial army units. With the outbreak of the First World War, the command realized the need to form another railway junction, the base for which also became the Zaamur border railway brigade. On the territory of the Caucasus, the 2-I Zaamurskaya border railway brigade was formed as part of the brigade headquarters and three railway battalions. Each battalion included 35 officers and 1046 lower ranks - soldiers and non-commissioned officers. In January, 1916, the 4 squadron of the 1 squadron of the Zaamur border railway brigade under the command of captain Krzhivoblotsky participated in the construction of the Zaamurets self-propelled armored car. At the beginning of 1917, the Zaamurets was used as an anti-aircraft self-propelled unit on the South-Western Front. The brigade commander was Colonel Mikhail Kolobov, who previously held the post of chief of staff of the 1-th Zaamur border railway brigade. Subsequently, Kolobov became the head of the military department of the CER, and then took part in the White movement and, after establishing the authority of the Bolshevik Party, emigrated to China.
World War I and Revolution
Border guards played a crucial role in protecting the state border of the Russian Empire. The border guards then, as now, remained very risky, but the officers and lower ranks performed their duties with honor, sometimes giving up their health and lives for the safety of the Russian state. Only twenty years from 1894 to 1913. border guards participated in 3595 armed clashes. The border guards eliminated 1302 of the trespasser, while the total number of frontier guards killed in the battles with violators and smugglers for 20 years was 177 people. The training of border guards was aimed at ensuring constant readiness for entry into hostilities. In fact, the border guards also operated in peacetime in wartime mode. By the time World War I began, the Separate Border Guard Corps included seven western and southern districts, 31 border brigade, 2 special divisions, cruiser fleet of 10 sea cruisers, Zaamursky district. The number of border guards reached 60 000 officers and lower ranks. After the outbreak of the First World War, border guard units were incorporated into the active army. 1 January 1917. The separate border guard corps was renamed the Separate border guard corps. Those border units that guarded the border with countries with which the Russian Empire did not conduct hostilities actually operated as before, the rest acted as part of the Russian army.
One of the serious shortcomings of the border guard of the Russian Empire was the lack of specialized educational institutions for training officers of the Separate Border Guard Corps. Meanwhile, the specificity of the service at the border required the presence of certain special knowledge, which was not always possessed by yesterday's army officers. The officers of the border guard staffed primarily from the number of officers of the Cossack troops and cavalry, to a lesser extent - infantry and artillery. There were also own specialists of the medical and weapons services. The lower ranks, as mentioned above, were recruited on a common basis for all armed forces. The lower ranks were filled with combatant and non-combatant posts of the border corps. By the lower ranks belonged: mediocre-ensigns, mediocre-military officials, sub-ensigns, vakhmistr and sergeant-major, senior noncommissioned officers (junior vakhmistra), non-combatant senior class with Feldwebel distinctions, junior non-commissioned officers (masters). , ordinary (strikers, guards). Non-combatant positions served as a clerk and other support staffs of staffs and units.
The 1917 revolution led to dramatic changes in the state border guard system. 5 March 1917 was held in Petrograd, a meeting of border guards, chaired by noncommissioned officer R.А. Muklevich. In accordance with the decision of the assembly, the corps commander, General of Infantry N.A., was relieved of his post. Pykhachev, and the place of the corps commander was occupied by Lieutenant General G. G. Mokasey-Shibinsky. The chief of staff of the corps instead of the dismissed Lieutenant General N.K. Kononov became Colonel S.G. Shamshev. By the time of the events in question, a large part of the state border in the European part of Russia and the Transcaucasus was violated as a result of the war and was not controlled by the Russian state. After the October Revolution and the emergence of the Soviet state, the issue of the protection of the state border was again actualized. By decision of the Soviet government, the Main Border Guard Directorate at the People’s Commissariat of Finance was established. The basis for the creation of the Main Board was the administration and headquarters of the Separate Border Corps. In July, 1918 in the Border Guard Headquarters remained up to 90% of the former officers of the old tsarist border guard. It is significant that among them there was not a single member of the RCP (b), which caused discontent of the party leadership. In the end, the party leadership decided to remove the head of the department of the former tsarist lieutenant-general Mokasey-Shibinsky. The general was accused of appointing only military specialists, but not of communists, to leadership positions, retaining the old regime in control and not seeking his reorganization. Commissars of Glavka recommended that the Soviet leadership release Mokasei-Shibinsky from his post and put in his place SG Shamsheva. 6 September 1918 Mokasei-Shibinsky was relieved of his post as head of the Border Guard Directorate General, and S.G. Shamshev. In September 1918, the Border Guard Council petitioned the chairman of the Military Revolutionary Council to eliminate the border guard. A Provisional Liquidation Commission was established, which was instructed to complete 15 1919 in February to complete the liquidation of the General Directorate of Border Guard. Thus ended the history of the pre-revolutionary and early years of the revolution of the border guard of the Russian state. At the same time, it should be noted that it was during the Soviet period that the real formation of the bodies of the border guard and the frontier troops occurred, which turned into a really powerful and effective tool for the protection of state interests.