In early June, units of the second White Army Corps landed in the Molochnoye Lake and moved to Melitopol. On June 12, Soviet troops left Kakhovka, Alyoshka and retreated to the right bank of the Dnieper. All Soviet Tavria, with its large material resources, passed into the hands of the whites. Wrangel advanced successfully and powerfully. This was acknowledged by Lenin in stating the events that took place: “The Wrangel troops are equipped with machine guns, tanks“Airplanes are better than all the other armies that fought in Russia,” he said.
Wrangel paid special attention to the creation of new types of troops - "armored" cavalry. She was staffed primarily from experienced fighters, cavalrymen, was armed with a large number of armored squadrons, machine-gun carriages and trucks with machine-gun installations. In order to fight the Soviets, Wrangel made his army mobile, able to move quickly and quickly fulfill its tasks. On July 10, the Central Committee of the RCP (b) urgently called for "immediately stopping the advancement of Wrangel and destroying the Crimean White Guard nest." But in order to destroy this wasp nest, the Bolsheviks needed to exert maximum forces.
So, on June 28, the division chief of 51-th Blucher was ordered to urgently go to the front. Two days later, the first train was on the way. Following the others, the 92 echelon moved further.
In early August, the head units of the division unloaded at the Apostolovo station and moved to the Borislavl area, where the 51-division was included in the Right Bank group of the 13 army. The 15, 52 and Latvian rifle divisions operating on this sector on the night of August 7 crossed the Dnieper, occupied Kakhovka.
By 11 August, the troops of the Right Bank Group expanded the Kakhovsky bridgehead. This created a danger for White’s left flank. Therefore, the commander of the second army corps, General Slashchev, was instructed to eliminate the Red headquarters. To help Slashchev was given the cavalry corps of General Ivan Barbovich, who delivered a strong blow to the units of the Red Army. They could not stand it and began to retreat to Kakhovka. There was a threat of eliminating the bridgehead. The position was saved by the regiments of the 51 division. After taking hastily equipped positions, they missed the retreating units of the Latvian and 52 divisions through their combat formations and for three days they repelled numerous white attacks. Kakhovsky bridgehead was saved.
However, Blucher was annoyed and was in a very aggressive state, having learned about the actions of the commander Uborevich, who, in Blucher’s opinion, did not wait for the 51 army to fully deploy its forces and gave a hasty order to attack. This led to the fact that it was not possible to achieve superiority over whites. This criticism of Blucher did not please Uborevich and led to disagreements in their future work.
Reporting to the higher authorities, Blucher writes triumphant reports: “Fierce battles in the steppes of Zadneprovye invariably end in our victory, and the general's cavalry, who dreamed of shining its standards in the depths of the Soviet Republic, more and more often turns to its fast horses, marking the route on the map in Perekop.
But before the final victory was far away. And no one really knew how this would end. The situation of the Reds was in fact desperate, and Blucher's reported reports did not reflect the reality of all that was happening. One by one, the white units struck with the use of numerous cavalry forces and armored vehicles.
The 457-th Moscow Rifle Regiment of the 51-division for three days fought off continuous attacks. But to the end could not hold back the onslaught. The native white cavalry brigade with the support of armored cars broke through to the rear of the 457 regiment. The Reds were surrounded and forced to defend themselves, breaking up into separate groups and changing into the so-called “hedgehogs”. The situation was just desperate. This is clearly manifested in the order of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic, where it was said: “The Red Army men left all the bullets, they had to fight back with bayonets. The regiment suffered great losses and constantly thawed, all the commanders of the company were out of action and, despite this, the regiment continued to fight heroically, causing damage to the enemy, causing anger in his ranks among the attackers. The unprecedented stability of the regiment, its composure, composure led to the fact that the enemy was forced to retreat with great losses. "
The white propaganda machine did not lag behind the reds. In turn, the White newspapers wrote: “A new well-trained division has arrived — completely Communist. All command positions are occupied by old officers who sold themselves to the Bolsheviks. The German General Blucher is at the head, and the young officer Datyuk, who not only deals with operational matters, but also conducts propaganda work, is the head of the shatal. The enemy is very strong, cunning, but with God's grace he will be defeated by our brave warriors. ”
Rumors about the mysterious origin of Blucher continue. There is no consensus among historians about the true origin of this red commander. In Soviet official literature, its true peasant origin is clearly written. Allegedly one of his ancestors, a serf, the landowner called Blucher. The nickname then turned into a surname.
However, later versions of the German origin of Blucher appeared. And today it is impossible to know how justified are the rumors that Blucher was from the Germans, or from the Russians. Does it matter today? It is important to understand how these two opposing camps were different and why some still beat others.
In order to break through the encirclement in the second half of August, the troops of the 13 Army undertook a new offensive. 51-division struck in the area of Seryogoy - Melitopol. 20 August Reds have risen to the attack. Wrangelists, using the unmade haystacks of bread as a disguise, masked their machine-gun carts in them and fired on the upcoming chains of the Reds. Blucher ordered the advance of the guns, which opened fire on white gun emplacements with direct fire. At the village Torgayevka whites were broken. But only a few days the reds were able to enjoy their victory. Yes, and whether joy was the case when White's attacks followed one after the other, and Torgayevka had to be left ...
Everything was decided on August 31. At dawn, the white units began to attack with the support of artillery and aviation. Eight times the Reds were able to repel the attacks near the village of Torgaevka. But in the evening Blucher ordered to retreat to the Kakhov bridgehead. The white units, taking advantage, directed their main blow at the village where the division’s field headquarters were located in order to disrupt command and control and ensure the successful completion of the mission.
White heavy artillery and aviation began to bomb the village continuously and smashed the “headquarters” home. Then 18 armored vehicles moved into the attack, followed by wheelchairs, which rapidly turned around and cleared the way for their infantry and cavalry with machine-gun fire. Reds could not resist. They missed the armored cars and began to try to cut off infantry and cavalry with rifle-and-machine-gun fire.
The Reds hastily retreated to the Kakhov bridgehead. Their departure covered the arriving replenishment from Siberia. Blucher on the move sent him to the position, and he rushed to the gunners. Together with the commander of the Artdivision LA Govorov (later he became Marshal of the Soviet Union), he helped bring several guns of the injured battery in order and open fire. These maneuvers helped save part of the fighters and get to the Kakhovsky bridgehead.
Despite the severity of the fighting, the red commanders treated their fighters ideologically very well. The same Blucher said: “You bravely met the onslaught of the first wave. This wave broke on your mighty chest. Honest and steadfast defenders of free labor, tighten the rifle. Victory is near. And if Wrangel declares himself the heir of Kolchak and Denikin, let him be the heir to the end, let them share their fate with them. ”
During September, both sides strenuously prepared for battles. And again, no one knew anything. The Reds hastily reorganized their troops. September 21 was formed Southern Front. He led him Frunze.
White and red troops marched to the front in a continuous stream. Everyone hurried. Red to build a strong defensive line, and white - to prevent this and crush the weakened enemy forces.
Also, the Reds conducted a reorganization of troop control. The right-bank group of troops was transformed into the sixth army. Kakhovskiy fortification area is being created. His chief was Blücher.
And yet - this is an important fact - military engineer Dmitry Karbyshev is appointed chief for equipping the fortification area. The fate of Karbyshev, ending in 1945, in the dungeons of the fascist Mauthausen concentration camp is a striking example of the outstanding Russian military engineering art. By the beginning of the fighting during the civil war, Dmitry had a serious military engineering education, which began in Omsk, where he was born.
Dmitry was sympathized with and warmly embraced by family circumstances: his elder brother was arrested by the police for participating in student unrest, and the family was under tacit supervision from that moment, causing internal irritation and protest from the whole family. However, these circumstances could not affect the fact that Dmitry entered the Siberian Cadet Corps, brilliantly graduated from it, then entered the Nikolaev Engineering School, and after graduation he reached the rank of lieutenant in the first East-Siberian engineer battalion. Participating in two wars, the Russian-Japanese and First World War, Karbyshev improved his engineering art. And after the wars, he continued to study again, this time the educational "step" was higher: at the St. Petersburg Nikolaev Military Engineering Academy, Karbyshev learned the highest engineering art.
By participating in the Brusilov breakthrough, leading the work on strengthening the borders with Romania, having the rank of lieutenant colonel, in December 1917, Dmitry switched to the Reds, already having an immeasurably richest combat experience of the engineering school of the Russian army.
White newspapers were mostly right, claiming that in the service of the Reds are experienced officers who received military education in tsarist times.
Therefore, it was not a problem for Dmitriy to develop a plan for a fortification area on the Kakhovsky bridgehead defended by the Reds. Here, in a short time, work is being done on the engineering equipment of the fortifying area, and artillery and anti-tank defense is being created. Three lines of wire barriers connected with each other by communication lines were constructed, many strongholds, anti-tank ditches, and mined fields appeared.
Karbyshev, taking into account that the enemy has tanks, paid particular attention to the anti-tank defense of the bridgehead during the construction of the Kakhovsky fortification area.
In the 1921 year, based on his experience, he will write his first book, The Influence of Struggle Conditions on Forms and Principles of Fortification, in which he will try to summarize his experience and the experience of other generals. All this will already serve the new red commanders.
In addition, Dmitry Mikhailovich proposed the following method for fighting tanks and armored cars: special nomadic weapons were allocated to tank-dangerous areas, which were supposed to hit the enemy's moving force with direct fire.
Also, the red parts were ordered to conduct a careful adjustment of "all machine guns on points of terrain, which can serve as convenient approaches for the enemy."
Also help for the red parts was the arrival of the Shock-Brigade, which was armed with a large number of flamethrowers, bomb bombers and 160 heavy machine guns.
In addition, much attention is paid to training personnel for conducting combat operations with Wrangel: methods are being studied for effective methods of fighting cavalry, tanks and overcoming a fortified line, the ability to maneuver during enemy surprise attacks, and the use of terrain conditions for both the offensive and defense.
All this came in handy when, on the night of October 8, Wrangel began his Zadneprovskaya operation. Its main goal is to thwart the Soviet-Polish negotiations, to unite with the Belopolsky troops and move with them to Moscow. But before Wrangel planned to break the Reds on the southern front. And at the very beginning, it seemed that the situation was well. 13-I army of Reds under the onslaught of whites retreated to the northeast. Then White attacked and crushed the 46 Division and the 2 Cavalry Army in the Nikopol area. To their aid, the Reds transferred the 15-th, 52-th and Latvian rifle divisions from the Kakhov springboard. The 51 Army and the 44 Brigade of the 15 Rifle Division remained on the bridgehead.
Started storming the Kakhov bridgehead. According to approximate calculations, "white concentrated 12 tanks, 14 armored vehicles, 90 guns and more 200 machine guns on a narrow section of the front." In the evening, White's planes dropped leaflets on the red positions. They suggested that the soldiers of the 51 Division lay down weapon and surrender.
Blucher also issues an order in which he demanded that commanders and military commissars promptly present the distinguished fighters to the awards: “Glorious is the way of the red fighters who, with their blood, depicted selfless dedication to the cause of the proletarian revolution, on the bright pages stories their names will be recorded, and their traditions will be preserved in the memory of grateful descendants. Commanders and commissioners! None of the feats of the Red Army should remain unmarked by you. As a senior commander I order and as a senior communist I oblige you to strictly observe every feat of your younger comrades. ”
In turn, the whites supported the morale of their fighters at the expense of the new reward system. Wrangel renamed his army into the Russian army and revived the earlier system of awards. If Denikin used the assignment of the next rank as awards, and even 25-year-old generals could be found in his troops, Wrangel decided to abandon this practice and approved the Order of St. Nicholas.
So, all armed ideologically.
Early in the morning of October 14, the second army corps of the whites went on the offensive after a powerful artillery preparation. The tanks looked especially frightening - the silhouettes of steel hulks with a length of ten, and a height of more than two meters, armed with five machine guns and two guns. Their crews consisted of officers, and the tank "Field Marshal Prince Suvorov" (at that time it was customary to give the tanks nominal names) was commanded by a major general who burned alive with his crew. Armored cars followed them. Under the cover of artillery fire, infantry were moving in thick chains.
By order of Blucher, the Reds, who were defending the external line of defense, missed the tanks, and then cut off the infantry that followed them with fire. However, at the site of the fire brigade, White managed to break through the barbed wire and closely approach the trenches. Red, to repel the attack, sent their flame throwers and were able to repel the attack.
With tanks, too, began to fight. The company commander Golovanov and private Parshin grenades knocked the head machine.
Actively used pre-made pit trap.
By the 11 clock, according to the reports of the Reds, seven tanks were destroyed. Wrangel threw four more tanks and seven armored vehicles into battle. Attacks followed one after the other. Planes bombed batteries. However, the red ones were dead. They even beat off the tanks. One of them was corrected, earned on the red field, having received the name "Moskvich proletarian" (for the Whites it was called "For Holy Russia").
With the crews of the tanks, the Reds did not stand on ceremony - they shot them on the spot.
At this time, Poland and Soviet Russia signed a truce. Wrangel lost another support. Also experienced commanders were out of action: Babiyev, who led the Kuban units, was killed during the Zadniprovsk operation.
And the Reds reinforced their onslaught in response. October 19 1920 of the year Frunze set the task of the troops of the Southern Front "to smash Wrangel's army, not giving it the opportunity to retreat to the Crimean peninsula and capture the isthmuses."
At dawn 28 of October, the red units went up to attack the Vitkovsky second army corps and then rushed to Perekop. Following the Shock Group of the Reds, the First Cavalry Army and all other parts of the Southern Front moved to the rear of the enemy.
By the evening of October 29, Blucher reached Perekop. “This is a natural fortress, covered from the north by the Turkish shaft erected by the Crimean khans, which rested its flanks on the Black Sea and Sivash, reinforced by a powerful and complex system of long-term structures. The main line of defense was on the Turkish shaft. Its length reached 11 kilometers, height - eight meters. Before the shaft, a ditch was dug to a depth of 10 and a width of more than 20 meters, and two lines of wire fences were built. The third line of wire barriers was hidden in the moat, ”- this is how the fortress is described in the Soviet military textbook.
Machine guns and weapons kept approaches to it under fire. From the west, Perekop fortifications were covered with ship fire, from the east - by the Gulf of Sivash.
In the morning of October 30, the battle for Perekop positions resumed, but it was not possible to take them in red. Then Blucher offered to begin preparing the assault on the fortifications, and for this to strengthen the artillery, especially long-range and heavy. After these requests, Blücher asked permission to withdraw his units to the rear for rest.
And again, the red and white began to prepare for long battles.
“White built a second line of defense, the so-called Yushun fortification unit, in the depths of the Perekop isthmus. Six lines of trenches with wire obstacles in front blocked the entrance to the Crimea between the Red and Old Lakes, ”Semyon Budyonny described in his memoirs. The northern coast of the Lithuanian Peninsula, covered by the Sivash Bay, was considered impassable. Sivash - "Rotten Sea".
About three o'clock went the fighters through the "Rotten Sea". Impassable dirt sucked people horses, salty water was eating his feet. A cold wind blew from the sea. Hit frost. Wet clothes froze, made like sheet metal. The fighters together or three with difficulty carried machine guns on their hands. Finally, the front rows approached the high bank of the Lithuanian Peninsula. Forcing the Sivash was a complete surprise for whites. When they came to their senses, they opened fire from guns and machine guns, raising columns of water and dirt. But the red went and went. By the morning of November 8, the 153 Brigade began to move slowly towards Karajanai.
A difficult situation has developed in the areas of the 152 and the fire brigade, storming the Turkish shaft in the forehead. Repeated attempts by the demolition men to approach the wire obstacles were beaten off by white hurricane fire. A thick fog hanging in the morning delayed artillery preparation (this was the reason for the delay in artillery preparation then). Gunners earned only 10 hours. The bombers, grenade launchers and gunners approached the wire obstacles, but almost all were killed by heavy artillery and machine-gun fire from the shaft.
Then the commander of the Southern Front, Frunze, and the commander of the Sixth Army, Cork, arrived at the divisional headquarters and found there an extremely nervous Blücher. Frunze later recalled this in a somewhat mild form: “The mood in the headquarters and at the head of Blucher was elevated and at the same time somewhat nervous.”
In 19 hours, the assault resumed. Red Infantry supported 15 armored vehicles. The demolition men managed to approach the Turkish shaft and cut several passes in the area of the 152 brigade. The first shock regiment of the red lost more than 60 percent of its membership after the breakthrough of the second line of wire obstacles. But this time the attack was not crowned with success.
The night has come. Bursting thickened darkness, shells exploded. It seemed the fire was everywhere. White floodlights constantly illuminated the battlefield. The slightest movement caused White's strong fire.
A no less difficult battle was taking place on November 8 and on the Lithuanian Peninsula. Pulling up reserves, Wrangell attacked the 152-th brigade. To help her, Blücher hastily sent an 451 th regiment from the reserve. A bayonet ensued.
Meanwhile, the rising east wind drove the muddy waters of the Sea of Azov into the Sivash and began to flood it. By the 22 watch in the area of the 15 Division, the bay became impassable. The red units on the other side of the Sivash were threatened by encirclement. Moreover, the whites threw Ivan Barbovich's equestrian corps to the aid of their units.
Today, historians say that the decisive role in the struggle for Perekop was not the transition of the Reds through the Sivash, but the presence of Makhnovist troops in their ranks, who used a swift attack technique from the carts. In addition, the presence of a red balloon allowed them to obtain operational data on the real state of affairs in whites. All this plays an important role.
Also, the Reds threw the seventh cavalry division for help. At the same time, Frunze mobilized the population of the neighboring villages to build a dam and ordered Blucher to immediately storm the Turkish shaft. “Sivash floods with water. Our units in the Lithuanian peninsula can be cut off. Grab the shaft at any cost, ”Frunze ordered by telephone.
Suddenly the Reds lost contact with the headquarters of the 153 Brigade.
Parts of the 152 and shock fire brigade quickly prepared for a night assault. At 24 hours, the attacking chains of the Reds reached the wire barriers and stepped back again.
After receiving intelligence data, Blucher decides to bypass the enemy’s left flank through the Gulf of Perekop and strike from the flank and rear.
In 2 hours 9 November, Blucher again gives the order to go to the assault. Red this time managed to finally break through the barrier and sink into the ditch. Here they did not reach the machine-gun fire. Without stopping, several hundreds of Reds moved along the bottom of the moat to the Gulf of Perekop to bypass the Turkish shaft and wade to the rear of the enemy. They walked, trying not to make half a kilometer in cold water bypassing the wire obstacles.
“I received a report from the headquarters of the 51 division about that,” wrote Frunze, “that the units of the 51 division at three o'clock 30 minutes after midnight stormed the Perekop shaft and continue to attack the Armenian Bazaar. I read the report, and the mountain fell off my shoulders. With the capture of Perekop, the danger of completely destroying two divisions, cut off by the waters of the Sivash, was greatly weakened for us. ”
On the Lithuanian Peninsula, there was also a fierce battle throughout the night. In the morning, the 153 Brigade took Karanzhan, hit the flank and went to Armyansk, where it joined the 152 Brigade, advancing from Perekop. Front closed.
Whites were forced to retreat under the protection of Yushun fortifications. Following them, the red units were moving, thinning and fatigued by hours of fighting.
By November 15 9, the division approached the first line of Yushun fortifications and began to dig in from Yushunsky Bay to Red Lake. To protect the Yushun positions, Peter Wrangel ordered that all reserves be collected.
When the Reds launched an attack and broke through the front, Wrangel brought 20 ships into Yushun Bay to launch a breakthrough. Shells literally plowed almost the entire Perekop isthmus. A solid wall of barrage formed. Despite this, the 151, 152, Latvian, 51 Red divisions continuously attacked. 11 November red struck the road to the Crimea.
On November 15, units of the 51 Division entered Sevastopol and Yalta.
The Revolutionary Military Council of the Southern Front awarded Blücher the second Order of the Red Banner, and in the middle of June 1921, he received the third Order of the Red Banner for fighting Dutov.
Then Blucher was transferred to Khabarovsk.
In April, the Far Eastern Republic (FER) was created in the Far East in the Far East, a temporary state entity created for tactical reasons to prevent a war with Japan.
At the same time, it was decided to send several experienced commanders, including Blucher, to the People’s Revolutionary Army (NRA) of the Far Eastern Republic.
On June 24, the Far Eastern Bureau of the Central Committee of the RCP (B.) Decided to appoint Blücher as the Minister of Military Affairs of the FER and the Commander-in-Chief of the NRA. His main task was to prevent war with Japan.
But as a matter of fact, there is no army yet. In his report, this also indicates Blucher addressed to the Central Committee of the RCP (B.) - the army is in a catastrophic situation. The state of discipline of the People’s Revolutionary Army of that time is vividly characterized by one episode told by Blucher at the rally of participants of the Volochayevsky battles 22 of February 1937 of the year:
“Getting acquainted with the army, I came to Korataev, the commander of the Trans-Baikal division, known to you, and tell him:
- Build a division for review.
“This is impossible,” he replies, confused.
“Line up at the parade,” I said flatly.
“They won't listen,” Korotayev says. - The fighters will go into battle, but they won't go to the parade.
“What kind of army is this,” I answer, “if it doesn't go to the parade.” After all, the parade is a demonstration of power. Give me a drill note.
- What kind of note? - asks Korotaev in surprise.
- A military note, which should indicate how many people are on the list, in the ranks, the sick, in the outfit and how many freeloaders.
I have to tell you that there were 4 800 people in the division, and 920 fighters were directly in the ranks. ”
Such a picture was approximately in other parts.
Blucher posed the question to the government of the FER about the radical reorganization of the army. In a number of letters addressed to the Central Committee of the RCP (B.), He argued that the FER by its own means, without the help of Soviet Russia, would not be able to create an efficient army. In November 1921, Lenin signed a resolution of the Council of People's Commissars on the transfer of the FER (to Blucher's disposal) with one and a half million rubles in gold.
As a result of persistent struggle, the NRA commander-in-chief managed to overcome the spirit of the partisan and create a regular army. On his initiative, a new, clearer structure of command and control of the republic’s armed forces was developed, much of the headquarters and logistical institutions were eliminated.
Blucher paid special attention to the system of ideological education of fighters. "We must achieve strict centralization, unity of will, unquestioning execution of orders, not allow any separatism, no spontaneity - only in this case can we purposefully direct the great revolutionary energy of our fighters to crush and defeat the enemy."
The reorganization of the new army took place in the difficult conditions of economic disruption and the struggle against the white formations. In July, 1921, Blucher had to oppose Baron Ungern, who from Mongolia sought to break through to Lake Baikal and cut off the Far East from the main part of Soviet Russia. However, these plans did not succeed: parts of the baron were defeated, he himself was captured and, by the verdict of the revolutionary tribunal, was shot in Novonikolayevsk.
Meanwhile, in Primorye, the army under the command of General Molchanov, with the help of the Japanese command, was intensively preparing for a "march on Moscow." At the same time, the Japanese leadership took a distracting political maneuver, opening the Dayren Conference on 26 in August 1921 of August to discuss the issue of conditions for the withdrawal of its troops from Primorye. In November, Blyukher arrived at the negotiations in Dayren, who, in coordination with Moscow, did not accept the withdrawal conditions laid out by the Japanese.
30 November 1921, the white troops, seeing such a turn in the negotiations, came out of the neutral zone guarded by the Japanese and launched an offensive against the NRA troops at the moment when they were weakened, concentrating parts of the People’s Revolutionary Army on the most threatened areas by that time has not yet been completed. White took advantage of this. Fighting began under Iman, Bikin and Kazakevichev. Unable to withstand organized attacks, the NRA forces were forced to retreat to Khabarovsk, and then on the night of December 22 leave it.
Blucher at this moment with the troops was not. He was urgently called out from Dairen. Here's how events developed further causing big questions. First, instead of going to the troops, Blucher arrives in Chita, speaks to the People's Assembly of the FER about the results of negotiations with Japan, about the results of the reorganization of the army and about the measures he planned to defeat the whites.
In the meantime, a very serious situation was developing on the front. In the absence of Blucher, the headquarters of the Eastern Front, headed by Seryshev and members of the Military Council Postyshev and Melnikov, is created to lead the fighting. White continued to advance, they also occupied Volochaevka and approached the station of In.
The seriousness of the situation close to the catastrophe is reflected in Blucher’s order to urgently mobilize all Communists of the Primorye and Amur regions to infuse them into active units, to take “exceptional measures to collect the dispersed Amur partisans, giving them the task of attacking the nearest rear of the enemy’s attacking forces”.
24 December 1921 reported to the Eastern Front Military Council that mobilization was announced in the Amur and Amur regions for manning and reinforcement of units, they began to form partisan detachments, territorial units, mobilized in Transbaikalia for urgent preparation and formation of marching companies, sent large amounts of gold currency for harvesting food forage, etc.
Finally, the Reds were able to group themselves and, near the station, Ying started a battle with the white units, and were able to push them back to the Olgoht station. However, this small victory was followed by a series of failures. This is how Blücher himself explained them.
5 January 1922 of the Year The Inskaya Group of the Red Forces of the Eastern Front launched the first attack on Volochaevka, where the enemy hastily erected fortifications. But the Reds could not change the situation in their favor. The main reason for the failure, noted Blucher, was “the absence of intelligence before the battle and, as a result, complete obscurity of the grouping of enemy forces to its flanks”.
It was then that the awakened Blücher begins to give rise to a dangerous trait in character, which ultimately leads him to death - disobeying the orders of the higher leadership.
The head of the Eastern Front, Seryshev, ordered the re-offensive, but Blucher canceled it, as he was convinced that it would again fail to concentrate all parts of the Trans-Baikal group and conduct thorough preparation. He developed his plan for the Volochaevsko-Khabarovsk operation, without coordinating it with the head of the Eastern Front. The first signs of "star disease" appear.
He recalls his comrade Pokus: “Almost every day Vasily Konstantinovich returned at four in the morning. He led continuous negotiations, gave orders, made plans, delved into the most seemingly petty affairs. When the working day was over, he loved with friends over a cup of tea to recall episodes of the Perekop fights, the Urals campaign, he made plans, shared his thoughts. ”
Blucher also writes articles. But again, he does not coordinate his actions with the military council of the front. Therefore, when the article “Your turn, rear” comes out, signed by Blucher, in which he called on the population to increase assistance to the front, the military council of the front of the NRA had no choice but to release its article, which also calls for the population to more vigorously deploy the partisan struggle in the rear the enemy. Thus, the military council did not support the calls to Blucher. It is interesting that after the call of the military council of the front, the creation of partisan detachments began. The military revolutionary headquarters of the partisan detachments of the Amur Region became the head of the movement, and in January 1922, all power to control the movement passed to the headquarters of the partisan detachments of Primorye.
Blucher did not take part in this partisan struggle. Moreover, the successful actions of his colleagues caused him envy. For example, on the night of January 12, a partisan detachment made a raid on the white-occupied city of Khabarovsk, where Molchanov’s headquarters were located, destroyed several hundred soldiers and officers. White removed two regiments with artillery from Volochaevka and sent them to pursue the partisans. But also these parts of the whites were thoroughly battered by partisans in the village of Knyaz Volkónka.
And at that time, Blucher was to form the slender ranks of his People’s Revolutionary Army, consisting mainly of civilians and communists.
In the meantime, White turned Volochaevka into an impregnable fortress, and Blucher’s refusal to fulfill Seryshev’s order for an immediate assault led White to pull his best parts here and turn Volochaevka into a “Far Eastern Verdun”, as it was a strategic hub. For the FER, it was the key to Primorye, for whites it was the key to Transbaikalia and Eastern Siberia. Who entrenched in Volochaevka, will ensure a successful offensive in the future. Seryshev understood this very well, but Blucher ignored him.
That is why whites gained an advantage in time and used it to build eight rows of barbed wire on the approaches to positions. From the south and west even a bush was entangled with wire.
For the wire fence built another barrier: from the bags of earth, abundantly watered with water, formed a high ice wall. All approaches were carefully targeted. White was also able to equip all communications. Well-equipped numerous observation points, machine-gun and artillery positions gave huge advantages. In the near rear were well-rolled by the time of the road and warm houses where the soldiers could hide from the cold. The troops of the People's Revolutionary Army were to attack on a plain covered with deep and loose snow.
But the soul of Blucher demanded a parade. Yes, yes again the parade. And it was strange even from the point of view of ordinary soldiers. Witnesses recall that "January 28, the 1922 of the year, came directly to the station Ying, where Blucher arrived with his field headquarters".
“I arrived at the Ying station,” he later recalled, “and ordered me to line up for inspection. Some then cursed: “Here are idiots! There is a need to fight here, but they thought of a parade. ” I say to Postyshev: “Pavel Petrovich, we need a parade so that people can see that these are not separate groups, but an army. Secondly, so that the people understand that the time has come for discipline, without which you can’t do anything. It is possible to freeze in the name of this discipline. ” And we froze for three hours. We drove along the front line, organized a rally, the army went through a ceremonial march. Commander-in-Chief (Blucher) made a passionate speech in which he did not hide the difficulties of the upcoming battles and called on the fighters to a decisive victory. ”
To be continued ...