Military Review

Army of the Emir. What were the armed forces of Bukhara?

In 1868, vassal dependence on the Russian Empire, having received the status of a protectorate, became the Emirate of Bukhara. Existed with 1753 as the successor of the Bukhara Khanate, the emirate of the same name was created by the tribal aristocracy of the Uzbek mangyt clan. It was from it that the first Bukhara emir Muhammad Rahimbi (1713-1758) came from, who managed to subjugate the Uzbeks to his power and to win the civil war. However, since Mohammed Rahimbiy was not Chingizid by birth, and in Central Asia only the descendant of Genghis Khan could wear the title of Khan, he began to rule Bukhara with the title of emir, giving rise to the new Turkestan dynasty, Mangyt. Since the Bukhara Emirate, having become a protectorate of the Russian Empire, retained all of its state administrative and political structures, the armed forces of the emirate continued to exist. Not much is known about them, but, nevertheless, Russian military and civilian historians, travelers, and writers have left some memories of what the army of the Emir of Bukhara was.

From Nukers to Sarbaz

Initially, the army of the Bukhara Emirate, like many other feudal states of Central Asia, was a regular feudal militia. It was presented exclusively by horsemen and was divided into nukers (science engineers) - service people, and Kara-Chirikov - militiamen. Not only in wartime, but also in peacetime, the nukers were in the military service of their master, receiving a certain salary and being exempted from other duties. Mr. Nuker provided them horses, but weaponservicemen purchased food at their own expense. In the units of the nukers, there was a division according to the type of armament - the arrows were pointed out - "mergany" and spearmen - "najzadasty". Since the nukers needed to pay their salaries and provide horses, their numbers were never high. At the end of the 19th century, 9 nuker squads of 150 people were deployed in and around Bukhara. The detachments were recruited according to the tribal principle - from mangyts, Naimans, Kipchaks and other Uzbek tribes. Naturally, the tribal units were fully controlled by the tribal aristocracy. In addition, Kalmyks living in Bukhara, as well as Turkmen and Arab tribes that roamed the territory of the Bukhara emirate (the Arabs lived in the area of ​​the ancient city of Vardanzi from the time of the Arab conquest of Central Asia, could be used as nukers), and by now almost assimilated with the local Uzbek and the Tajik population, although there are still groups of the Arab population in some places).

In wartime, the emir called for the service of the Kara-Chiriks - the militia, recruited by recruiting into the army most of the Bukhara men of working age. The Kara-Chiriques carried out service on their horses and were armed as they should. Kara-Chirikov detachments were also used as a kind of prototype engineering troops - for the construction of various defensive structures. In addition to the cavalry, at the end of the XVIII century. The emirate of Bukhara acquired its own artillery, which consisted of 5 nine-pound cannons, 2 five-pound, 8 three-pound cannons, and 5 mortars. Up until the 19th century, the Bukhara army did not have any service statutes and functioned in accordance with medieval customs. When the emir of Bukhara announced a campaign, he could count on troops from 30 to 50 of thousands of nukers and Kara-Chiriks. Even before 15-20 thousands, governors and rulers of Samarkand, Khujand, Karategin, Gissar and Istaravshan could provide.

According to the old custom, the campaign of the Bukhara army could not last more than forty days. After forty days, even the Emir did not have the right to increase the march time for several days, so the soldiers dispersed to whom and this was not considered a violation of discipline. Another common, not only among the troops of the Bukhara Emirate, but also among the troops of the neighboring Kokand and Khiva khanates, was the established seven-day siege of a fortress or a city. After seven days, regardless of the results of the siege, the army was withdrawn from the walls of the fortress or the city. Naturally, loyalty to the medieval traditions did not add combat capability to the Bukhara army. E.K. Meiendorf, who published the book Traveling from Orenburg to Bukhara in 1826, wrote about two types of emir guards in Bukhara. The first subdivision, called “mahramy” and numbering 220 people, performs page functions, and the second subdivision - “cash-bardar” - numbers 500 people and carries the service of protecting the emir's palace. During the campaigns, the emirs sought to save as much as possible on their troops, which sometimes led to very funny situations. Thus, Kara-Chiriqas mobilized during the march were supposed to arrive at the disposition of troops with their own food supplies for 10-12 days and on their horses. Who arrived without a horse, was obliged to purchase it at his own expense. However, the salaries of ordinary Kara-Chiriques for the purchase of horses were not enough, therefore, when the emir Haidar decided to go to war with the neighboring Kokand khanate in 1810, he could not even gather cavalry. Three thousand militiamen arrived at the location of the emir army riding on donkeys, after which Haidar was forced to cancel the designated march ((See: R.. Kholikova stories military affairs in the emirate of Bukhara // Young Scientist. - 2014. - №9. - S. 399-402)).

Gradually, the Bukhara emir Nasrullah strengthened his thoughts about the need for substantial modernization of the armed forces of the state. He was less and less satisfied with the unreliable and poorly prepared feudal militia. When the Russian mission of Baron Negri, guarded by a Cossack escort, arrived in 1821 in Bukhara, the emir showed a very strong interest in organizing military affairs in the Russian Empire. But then the Emir did not have the financial and organizational possibilities for the reorganization of the Bukhara army - just the Chinese-Kypchaks rebelled, the internecine struggle of the Bukhara feudal lords became fierce. However, the emir of Bukhara, seeing the gun techniques shown to him by Russian Cossacks and soldiers, then forced his servants to repeat these techniques with wooden sticks - the guns in then Bukhara were absent. (See: R. E. Kholikov. From the History of Military Affairs in the Bukhara Emirate // Young Scientist. - 2014. - No. 9. - C. 399-402). The emir willingly accepted into the military service the captured Russian and Persian soldiers, deserters, as well as all sorts of adventurers and professional mercenaries, because they were at that time carrying unique military knowledge that was completely absent from the feudal aristocracy of the Bukhara emirate and, moreover, from the rank and file Nukers and militias.

Create a regular army

In 1837, Emir Nasrulla began the formation of a regular army of the Bukhara Emirate. The organizational structure of the Bukhara army was significantly streamlined, and most importantly, the first regular infantry and artillery units were created. The number of the Bukhara army was 28 thousand people, in the case of the outbreak of war, the emir could mobilize up to 60 000 soldiers. Of these, 10 thousands of people with 14 artillery pieces were located in the capital, Bukhara, 2 thousands more with 6 artillery pieces - in Shaar and Kitab, 3 thousands - in Karman, Guzar, Sherabad, Ziaetdin. The cavalry of the Emirate of Bukhara numbered 14 thousand people consisted of 20 circlists (battalions) of galabatarias totaling 10 thousand people, and 8 Hasabardar regiments totaling 4 thousand people. Galabatyri were armed with pikes, swords and pistols, representing the Bukhara analogue of the Ottoman sipahs. Khasabardars were equestrian arrows and armed with cast-iron wick falconets with a stand and a sight for shooting - one falcon for two horsemen. The artillery battalion organized in 1837 was a novelty of the emir of Nasrullah (the artillerymen in Bukhara were called “stupid”). The artillery battalion initially consisted of two batteries. The first battery was deployed in Bukhara and was armed with six 12-pound copper implements with six charging boxes. The second battery was located in Hissar, had the same composition and was subordinate to the Gissar Bek. Later, the number of artillery guns in the Tupcha battalion was increased to twenty, and a gun-and-foundry was opened in Bukhara. Only by the beginning of the twentieth century, British-made Vickers machine guns appeared as part of the army of the Emir of Bukhara.

As for the Bukhara infantry, it appeared only in 1837, following the results of the military reform of the emir of Nasrullah, and was called “sarbaza”. The infantry numbered 14 thousands of people and was subdivided into 2 of Bayrak (company) of the Emir’s Guard and 13 of the circde (battalion) of army infantry. Each battalion, in turn, included five companies of sarbaz, armed with kurkovymi, smooth and rifled guns and bayonets. In the infantry battalions a military uniform was installed - red jackets, white trousers and Persian fur hats. By the way, the appearance of regular infantry as part of the Bukhara army caused some discontent on the part of the Uzbek aristocracy, who saw this as an attempt on its importance as the main military force of the state. In turn, the emir, having foreseen possible dissatisfaction with the Uzbek beks, recruited infantry battalions from among the captured Persian and Russian soldiers, as well as volunteers from among the Sarts - settled urban and rural residents of the emirate (before the revolution, both Tajiks and the settled Turkic-speaking population). Sarbaz infantry battalions were fully supported by the Emir of Bukhara and lived in the barracks, where space was allocated for their families. It should be noted that the originally Bukhara emir, who did not trust his vassals, the Beks, began to recruit sarbazov by buying slaves. The main part of the Sarbazi was ironi - the Persians captured into slavery by the Turkmen who attacked the territory of Iran and then sold to Bukhara. From among the Persians, non-commissioned officers and officers of regular infantry units were originally nominated. The second large group were Russian prisoners, who were greatly appreciated due to the presence of modern military knowledge and combat experience. In addition to Russians and Persians, Bukharians from the most disadvantaged sections of the urban population were recruited into the Sarbaz. Military service was very unpopular among the citizens of Bukhara, so only the most dire need could force the Bukhara to become a soldier. Sarbazov settled in the barracks, but then for them built villages of government houses outside the city. Each house housed one family Sarbaz. Each sarbaz received a salary and, once a year, a set of clothes. In field conditions, the sarbaz received three flat cakes a day, and in the evening - a hot stew at public expense. After 1858, the sarbaz had to buy their own food for a payable salary.
Russian Protectorate Army

Army of the Emir. What were the armed forces of Bukhara?

In 1865, on the eve of the Russian conquest of the Bukhara Emirate, regular infantry and regular cavalry existed as part of the Bukhara army. The infantry consisted of 12 battalions of sarbaz, and cavalry - from 20-30 hundreds of equestrian sarbazov. The number of artillery guns was brought to 150. In the regular cavalry they served around 3 000 horse sarbaz, in the infantry 12 000 foot sarbaz, in artillery 1500 tupchis (artillerymen). Infantry battalions were divided into companies, platoons and semi-platoon. Pedestrian sarbaz had firearms only on the first rank, while it was distinguished by extreme diversity - they were wick or flint rifles, and seven-linear rifles with fork-type bayonet, and pistols. The second rank of sarbazov was armed with pistols and pikes. In addition, both ranks were armed with swords and sabers - also very diverse. As for cavalry, there were rifles, wick and flint rifles, pistols, sabers and lances on its armament. Depending on the parts, a single form was introduced - red, blue or dark green woolen jacket with tin or copper buttons, white linen pants, boots, and a white turban on the head. Red jackets with black collars wore hiking sarbazy, and blue jackets with red collars - sarbazy, served in field or fortress artillery. The gunners were also armed with pistols, sabers or swords. In wartime, the emir of Bukhara could assemble the militia of Kara-Chirikov, armed, most often, with swords and lances (some militiamen could have wick guns and pistols armed). Also in the service of the emir was a detachment of Afghan mercenaries, and in wartime, the emir could hire several thousand nomadic Turkmen, who were famous for their militancy and were considered the best soldiers in Central Asia. However, the weakness of the Bukhara army and its inability to fight a strong adversary was obvious, so the Russian Empire conquered the territory of Central Asia relatively quickly and made the Emir of Bukhara recognize the protectorate of Russia over the emirate. For two years, from May 1866 to June 1868, Russian troops were able to cover practically the entire territory of the Bukhara Emirate, inflicting several crushing defeats on the troops of emir vassals, and then on to the emir himself. As a result, 23 June 1868, the emir Muzaffar Khan was forced to send an embassy to Samarkand, occupied by Russian troops, and agree to the conclusion of a peace treaty. But, despite the fact that the Russian protectorate prevented the emir from pursuing foreign policy, the Bukhara emirate was allowed to retain its own armed forces.

After the Bukhara Emirate became a protectorate of the Russian Empire, the system of recruiting the regular army changed. If before Sarbazov recruited from captives and slaves, but now, after the abolition of slavery, only volunteers were recruited into the Sarbaz. Of course, only the representatives of the poorest strata of the population of Bukhara — the urban lumpen-proletariat — went to military service. In addition, residents of remote poor villages were recruited into sarbaz. Sarbazy went in uniform and were in the disposition of the garrisons only during duty. Outside the service, they walked in ordinary civilian dress, and lived not in the barracks, but in their homes or on removable corners in caravanserais. Since the soldier’s salary for the maintenance of the family was often insufficient, many sarbazs either conducted their own farm plots, or went to their villages to farm there in the homes of relatives, either engaged in handicrafts or hired laborers and laborers. The infantry was divided into two main parts: "Saturday" and "Tuesday". Sarbaz "Saturday infantry" carried guard duty and engaged in military training on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Sarbaza "Tuesday infantry" were on the posts and trained on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Combat training lasted for two hours in the morning on the day of service, and then the sarbaz dispersed to the guard posts, either went to work for their commanders or were left to themselves. The level of training Sarbazov remained extremely low. The classic of Tajik literature, the writer Sadriddin Aini, who still caught the times of the Bukhara Emirate, recalls the incident to which he was a witness: “The head ordered the trumpeter to give a signal. Lower commanders repeated orders to their units. We did not understand the words of their commands. They said that they give the command in Russian. But those who knew Russian stated that “the language of the command of these commanders has nothing in common with the Russian language”. Whatever the command words, but the soldiers made various movements under it. A group of eight people walked past us. The commander from behind gave a drawling command: -Name-isti! The squad, hearing this command, walked faster. The commander, furious, ran after him and stopped the detachment, and he slapped each soldier in the face: “Let your father be cursed, teach you a whole year, but you cannot remember!” - then again, just as protractedly, but he added quieter: - When I say “sweep”, you must stop! One of the spectators said to another: “Obviously, Russian words have the opposite meaning to Tajik words, because if we say“ humbug ”, it means“ keep going. ” (Subsequently, I learned that this command in Russian would be “in place”) ”(quoted in: Aini, S. Memoirs. USSR Academy of Sciences. M.-L. 1960).

- Bukhara sarbazy in the early twentieth century.

The highest military command of the Bukhara army was carried out by the Emir of Bukhara, but the direct military leadership of the regular infantry and artillery units was carried out by the tupchibashi - the head of the artillery, who was also considered the head of the garrison of Bukhara. Issues of quartermaster support troops were under the jurisdiction of the Kushbegi (Vizier), to whom the Durbins were subordinate - the state treasurer, who was in charge of financial and clothing allowances, and Ziaetda Bey, who was in charge of food supplies and horses. Beks were appointed to command positions in battalions and hundreds, without any special education, but close to the emir's court. The emir preferred to appoint people who were still familiar with military affairs to the posts of company commanders in infantry battalions. Those were captured and escaped Russian soldiers, merchants who were fit for health reasons and had experience of living in the Russian Empire, which, according to the emir, allowed them, at least approximately, to get an idea of ​​the training of the Russian army. Russian soldiers also prevailed among the artillery commanders, since the emir did not have his own sarbaz with the knowledge necessary for artillerymen.

- artillery of the emir of Bukhara

The company of the Emir Guard (Sarbazov Jilau) included 11 officers and 150 lower ranks. The foot sarbaz infantry battalion consisted of 1 headquarters officer, 55 chief officers, 1000 lower ranks and non-combatant: 5 esaulov, 1 Koroyich (mining worker who acted as a battalion adjutant) and 16 bodja (musician battalion). In the five-hundredth cavalry regiment served 1 general, 5 staff officers, 500 lower ranks. The artillery company included the 1 officer and the 300 lower ranks. The army of the Emir of Bukhara had its own system of military ranks: 1) alaman - private; 2) dahboshi (foreman) - non-commissioned officer; 3) Churagasy - Feldwebel; 4) yuzboshi (centurion) - lieutenant; 5) churanboshi - captain; 6) pansad-boshi (commander of 5 hundreds) - major; 7) tuxaba (regiment commander) - lieutenant colonel or colonel; 8) Kurbonbegi - Brigadier General; 9) Dadha (commander of several regiments) - Major General; 10) Parvanac (commander of the troops) - General. The commander of the garrison of the city of Bukhara, who bore the rank of topchibashi-Ilashkar and commanded all the infantry and artillery of the emirate, also bore the title "Wazir-i-Kharb" - Minister of War. Later, the system of military ranks in the Bukhara Emirate was somewhat modernized and by the end of the 19th century it looked like this: 1) alaman - ordinary; 2) chehraogaboshi - non-commissioned officer; 3) Zhibachi - Feldwebel; 4) Mirzaboshi - Second Lieutenant; 5) guard duty (korovulbegi) - lieutenant; 6) Mirohur - captain; 7) tuxabo - lieutenant colonel; 8) Eshikogaboshi - Colonel; 9) Bij - Brigadier General; 10) Dadha - Major General; 11) Monk - Lieutenant General; 12) Parvanac - General.

The creation of regular infantry and artillery finally approved the priority of the emir among the local feudal lords, who could oppose only the equestrian feudal militia to the Bukhara ruler. However, in the confrontation with the modern armies, the Bukhara army had no chance. Therefore, after the Russian conquest of Central Asia, the Bukhara army performed decorative and police functions. Sarbazy served the protection of the Emir and his residence, provided security during the collection of taxes, supervised the peasants during the execution of state duties. At the same time, the maintenance of the army laid a rather heavy burden on the weak economy of the Bukhara Emirate, especially since there was no serious need for it. Most of the infantry and equestrian units of the Bukhara army were poorly armed, and military training was virtually absent. Even officers were appointed to people who had no military training and were often completely illiterate. This was explained by the fact that officer and non-commissioned officer ranks were assigned on a length of service basis, if there were appropriate vacancies, so theoretically any ordinary soldier who entered a life-long service could reach the rank of officer. However, in practice, most of the officers' posts were engaged in kinship or friendship ties, or were bought. Only units of the Emir Guard were trained by Russian officers under the Russian military charter and were able to carry out Russian commands.

Modernization of the Bukhara army at the beginning of the twentieth century

After a trip to Russia in 1893, the emir of Bukhara decided to carry out a new military reform. This was prompted by his acquaintance with the Turkmen police in Ashgabat, which was prepared by Russian officers. In 1895, military reform began in the Bukhara Emirate, as a result of which the emir's army was significantly reorganized. In 1897, the Bukhara army consisted of 12 Sarbaz Linear Infantry Battalions, one Djilau Guards Company, two fortress artillery companies and a mounted police. The infantry was armed with rifled assault rifles, Berdan rifles, flint and wick rifles. By the beginning of the twentieth century, horse regiments were completely disbanded, but the equestrian escort of the emir included two horseback hundreds of Jilau. In Bukhara, Karshi, Gissar, Garm, Qala-i-Khumba and Baldzhuane artillery teams of a total number of 500 soldiers and officers were stationed. The infantry battalions in Bukhara (two battalions) and Darvaz (one battalion) were armed with the Berdan rifle, while the weapons of the remaining sarbaz battalions did not change. The Emir horsemen of Djilau were armed with firearms and edged weapons, and the artillery received about 60 copper and cast iron smooth-barrel muzzle-loading guns cast in Bukhara at a local cannon-foundry. In 1904, Emperor Nicholas II sent as a gift to the Emir of Bukhara four 2,5-inch mountain cannons arr. 1883. In 1909, two more mountain cannons were sent. They entered service with the Guards Mounted Horse Battery. The uniform of the Bukhara army was also changed; now it was in the infantry and artillery consisted of black cloth uniforms with red flaps on the collar and red shoulder straps, black front or red casual trousers, high boots, and black popes. The summer uniform consisted of white shirts from sarbazov and white tunics from officers. The units of the Emir Guard, consisting of two hundred equestrian Djilau and an equestrian battery, were called Terek, since the emir of Bukhara was listed as part of the Terek Cossack army. The guardsmen also received Cossack uniforms - they wore black Circassian coats and black hats, in horseback hundreds wore light blue beshmets, and in a mountain battery - black with scarlet vypushkami. Guards units were called “coconut”, that is, “the Caucasus”.

Here's how the writer Sadriddin Aini described the Amir Guard: “as soon as the courtiers entered the citadel, the Emir cavalry left its barracks to the sound of a military orchestra. All of the emir's cavalry were called "the Caucasus", their form was similar to the clothes worn by the people of Dagestan and the North Caucasus at that time. Three units differed in the color of clothing: “Kuban”, “Terek” and “Turkish”. Although each detachment had its own form, it rather resembled a circus rather than a military one. "Caucasians" constantly lived in the barracks and could not walk freely on the streets. Wherever the emir went, barracks were arranged for them where he stayed. In the ranks of the Caucasian troops served as young men, the oldest of whom could hardly have been given eighteen years, the same soldiers who had been executed for more than eighteen years were transferred to infantry ”(Aini, S. Memoirs).

- orchestra of the Emir Guard

The officers of the Bukhara army wore epaulets of the Russian army, and without any attention to the meaning of the epaulets. So, the captain could wear epaulets of a lieutenant, and a lieutenant - a captain's chase on one shoulder and a lieutenant colonel - on the other shoulder. The top commanders, as a rule, did not wear military uniforms, but went in national costumes, sometimes with epaulettes sewn to luxurious robes. Another modernization of military ranks has taken place: 1) Alaman - Private; 2) catch up - non-commissioned officer; 3) Churagasy - felfebel; 4) Mirzaboshi - Second Lieutenant; 5) Jivachi - Lieutenant; 6) guard duty - staff captain; 7) Mihahur - captain; 8) tuxaba - lieutenant colonel; 9) Bij - Colonel; 10) dadho - Major General. In the Bukhara army, a salary was introduced, which was the same for the lower ranks of 20 (similar to 3 rubles) per month, for officers from 8 to 30 rubles per month. The officers, who were in the rank of tuxabo, received 200 shadows and once a year - clothes. Mirahurs received from 100 to 200 shadows, guard watchers - from 40 to 60 shadows per month, churagasy, jabaci and mirzobashi - according to 30 shadows. Each year, an emir or a bek gave their officers two or three half-silk robes. In the last decade of the existence of the Bukhara Emirate, the annual issue of clothing has also been replaced by the payment of an appropriate amount of money that an officer or non-commissioned officer could spend at his own discretion. For example, a non-commissioned officer in the rank of Churagasy received the 17-18 shadow in exchange for the Fergana satin robe, which he was supposed to be called. The total cost of the Bukhara government for the maintenance of the armed forces reached 1,5 million Russian rubles per year. Such high spending caused dissatisfaction with many dignitaries, but the emir did not intend to reduce military spending - the presence of his own army, in the opinion of the Bukhara ruler, gave him the status of an independent Islamic monarch.

Meanwhile, despite significant cash costs, the Bukhara army was extremely poorly prepared. The Russian generals didn’t like this moment very much, because in the event of hostilities, the Bukhara troops were to come under the operational control of the Russian military command, but they were obviously not adapted to act in the conditions of a modern war. The low level of combat training of the Bukhara emir army was aggravated by the fact that after the Russian conquest of Central Asia, the Bukhara troops no longer fought with anyone and they had nowhere to gain combat experience.

When in February 1917, a revolution occurred in Russia that overthrew the Romanovs monarchy, the Bukhara emir Seyid Mir-Alim-khan found himself in complete confusion. Seemed so powerful and indestructible, the Russian Empire ceased to exist in an instant. The Bukhara nobility and the clergy considered the Russian revolution a very dangerous example for an emirate and, as it turned out, were right. The emir began an urgent modernization of the Bukhara army, knowing full well that Mangitov’s power and centuries power could soon be under threat. Bukhara bought new rifles and machine guns, began the practice of hiring Afghan and Turkish mercenaries, as well as foreign military instructors. In 1918-1919 as part of the Bukhara army, new guards regiments were formed (Surderde) - Shefsky, Turkish and Arabic. The patrol regiment (Sherbach serkerde) was stationed at the dried-up Lake Shur-Kul, consisted of 6 bayraks (hundreds) and numbered 1000 bayonets for 1000 sabers. The patrol regiment consisted of emir horse guards hundreds of Djilau and volunteers - students of the Bukhara madrassas. The men of the Chef regiment were dressed in red single-breasted uniforms, white trousers, and wearing black astrakhan caps on their heads.

The Turkish regiment consisted of a 1250 man and consisted of 8 bayraks (hundreds), 2 machine guns and 3 artillery guns were in his arsenal. The regiment was quartered in Kharmyzas near Bukhara and was almost fully staffed by Turkish soldiers who came to Bukhara after the British defeated the Turkish troops in Transcaucasia and Iran. In addition to the Turks, there were 60-70 Afghans serving in the regiment, around 150 Sarts and Kyrgyz Russian citizenship, and only 10 subjects of Bukhara. The officers were staffed by the Turks. In the Turkish regiment, red uniforms with black trim, white trousers and red fez with black tassels were installed as uniforms. From a military point of view, the Turkish regiment was considered the best in the army of the Bukhara Emirate, and constantly participated in military parades. It was assumed that in the event of the outbreak of hostilities, the Turkish regiment would play the most important role in the defense of Bukhara.

The Arab regiment consisted of 400 sabers and consisted of 4 bayracs (hundreds), but it was not staffed with Arabs, as one might think by name, but Turkmen mercenaries. The formation was stationed in the Shir-Budum region, which is three versts from Bukhara. The Sarbaz of the Arab Regiment was worn by black Tekin hats and dark olive overcoats with red buttonholes, which depicted a star and a crescent moon. In addition to the Chef, Arab and Turkish regiments, armed groups were formed, which were directly subordinate to the local Beks. According to Soviet agents in the city of Bukhara 1920 army included in its membership the emir's regular army numbering 8272 bayonets, sabers 7580, 16 23 machine guns and cannons stationed in Old Bukhara, the militia and the Bolsheviks as part of 27 070 bayonets and sabers, 2-x machine guns, 32-x different old guns, stationed throughout the territory of the Bukhara emirate. The main armament of the Bukhara army in the period under review consisted of British 7,71-mm rifles of the Lee-Enfield model 1904 of the year, 7,71-mm machine guns Vickers Mk.I and French 8-mm machine guns Mle1914 "Hotchkiss", were still in service with militias " trilinea "and rifle Berdan. In addition to the army units, regular police forces formed on the territory of Bukhara were housed, the number of which was about 60 people - mercenaries aged 19-50 years armed with guns and swords.

- The last emir of Bukhara, Seid Alim Khan

In preparation for the confrontation with Soviet Russia, the emir of Bukhara established close ties with the emir of neighboring Afghanistan. It was from Afghanistan that the main military assistance, as well as instructors and mercenaries, began to flow into Bukhara. The formation of armed detachments staffed by Afghans began on the territory of the Bukhara Emirate. A headquarters was formed at the emir’s court, which included Afghan officers, in turn, controlled by British residents. Afghanistan even provided artillery to the Emir of Bukhara. The number of emir army reached 50 000 people, moreover, impressive armed groups were at the disposal of the beks and other feudal lords. After the start of the anti-Emir demonstration in Bukhara, units of the Red Army under the command of Mikhail Frunze came to the aid of the rebels of Bukhara.

The end of the emirate. Bukhara Red Army

29 August 1920, the troops of the Turkestan Front, by order of M. V. Frunze, marched on Bukhara, and already 1-2 of September 1920 stormed the capital of the Bukhara emirate and defeated the Bukhara army. 2 September 1920 The Bukhara Emirate actually ceased to exist, and on its territory 8 October 1920 was proclaimed the Bukhara People's Soviet Republic. September 13 1920 of the "red" Bukhara signed an agreement with the RSFSR, according to which Soviet Russia recognized the political sovereignty of Bukhara. The remnants of the troops of the Emir of Bukhara continued armed resistance to Soviet power in the ranks of the Basmach movement. However, a certain part of the Sarbaz took Soviet power. September 6 The 1920 of the Bukhara Revolutionary Committee decided to create a National Nazirat (Commissariat) for military affairs. First Nazir for Military Affairs BNSR became Tatar Bagautdin Shagabutdinov (1893-1920) - comes from a poor family of the Tambov province in the past worked as a coachman and a postman, and during the First World War, graduated from the medical school and served as a nurse in one of the cavalry units of the Russian army in Turkestan. However, already in November 1920, Mr. Shagabutdinov was killed by the Basmachis, and Yusuf Ibrahimov became a new Nazirim in military affairs. Thus began the formation of the BCA - the Bukhara Red Army, created on the model of the Red Army and based on the 1 of the East Muslim Infantry Regiment that participated in the Bukhara operation 1920 of the year. The structure of the Bukhara Red Army commanders of the Turkestan front of the Red Army were handed weapons, commanders and personnel of the Uzbek, Tajik, Turkmen nationality. In the middle of 1921, the Bukhara Red Army consisted of about 6 thousands of soldiers and commanders, and its structure consisted of 1 rifle and 1 cavalry brigades. A voluntary recruitment principle was introduced, in 1922, replaced by a general military duty for a period of two years. In 1922, the Bukhara Red Army included rifle and cavalry regiments, an artillery division, combined military command courses, and support units. September 19 On the fifth All-Bukhara kurultai of the Soviets, September, it was decided to join the Bukhara People's Soviet Republic, called "Bukhara Socialist Soviet Republic", into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. October 1924 The 27 of the Bukhara Socialist Soviet Republic ceased to exist, and its territories, as a result of the national-state delimitation of Central Asia, were included in the newly formed Uzbek and Turkmen SSR and the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (with the 1924 the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic Tajik SSR).
Photos used:,,
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. semirek
    semirek 23 December 2015 07: 06 New
    An interesting article, albeit a brief one. By the way, in the early 900s, our outstanding photographer Pogudin-Gorsky visited Bukhara, who captured not only the emir, but also ordinary people in color.
    1. thinker
      thinker 23 December 2015 13: 53 New
      correct - Prokudin-Gorsky
      1. semirek
        semirek 23 December 2015 17: 36 New
        It’s to blame, in a hurry, although I have a selection of works, the great Russian photographer-innovator, and the photo in my profile --- from that of his Bukhara trip.
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 23 December 2015 08: 02 New
    Ilya, Respect ... a wonderful article .. Thank you .. I hope there will be a continuation .. about the armed forces of Kokand ..
  3. bionik
    bionik 23 December 2015 08: 08 New
    Quote: semirek
    By the way, in the early 900s, our outstanding photographer Pogudin-Gorsky visited Bukhara, who captured in color not only the emir, but also ordinary residents.

    Who cares about these photos here on the site, in the photo archive section on page 62.
  4. Mangel olys
    Mangel olys 23 December 2015 08: 40 New
    he began to rule Bukhara with the title of emir, giving rise to a new Turkestan dynasty - Mangyt.
    The detachments were manned according to the tribal principle - from the Mangits, Naimans, Kypchaks and other Uzbek tribes.

    In the 16th century, a descendant of Chyngyz Khan, Khiva Khan Abul-Gazi Bagadir, wrote the book "Genealogical History of the Tatars". The Khiva Khanate was located in the western part of modern Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and partly on the territory of Kazakhstan. So he writes in his book that the names "kalach, kangly, karluk, kereyet, kungrat, kypchak, kyyat, mangyt, Mogul, Uigur, Uishyn "and others - these are just different clans (clans, tribes) of one Tatar people. (according to the book by G.R. Enikeev" Legacy of the Tatars ")
    Karachi are Tatar service people.
  5. heal
    heal 23 December 2015 09: 12 New
    Good article. Thank you so much!
    Only above would be to add about Sayyid Alim Khan:
    When the Red Army occupied Bukhara, he fled to the east of the Bukhara emirate, and then to Afghanistan. In exile, he traded astrakhan doodles, supported basmachism, was almost blind in his old age, his bank accounts were blocked at the insistence of the USSR authorities. He died in Kabul on May 5, 1944.
  6. serg48
    serg48 23 December 2015 09: 36 New
    Thank you so much for the article. Very interesting.
  7. holgert
    holgert 23 December 2015 10: 40 New
    Thank you. VO --- very interesting ... Then we were ahead of the British --- they were in Afghanistan at that time, and their reconnaissance detachments were heading for Central Asia !!!! !!!!
    1. Alibekulu
      Alibekulu 23 December 2015 11: 15 New
      Quote: holgert
      Then we were ahead of the British, they were in Afghanistan at that time, and their reconnaissance detachments were heading for Central Asia with might and main !!!!
      laughing So this bike was used then ?! repeat
      Quote: Batu Khan
      It’s good that we managed to get ahead of the Teutons then, they were already in the Baltic states and Poland at that time, and their Catholic emissaries were rushing around in Holy Russia!?!?! soldier
  8. Isk1984
    Isk1984 23 December 2015 10: 57 New
    No offense to the peoples of that time, but the beautiful farmers and gardeners didn’t really win the Bukhara people, but the war wasn’t very much, the Turkmens on the contrary were warlike from the time of the Saks ..
  9. cobalt
    cobalt 23 December 2015 14: 25 New
    The history of the conquest of Khiva, Bukhara and Turkestan has always somehow been little covered. Thanks for the interesting article. In fact, it would be nice to make a good film about the operations of the Russian army, because General Skobelev was initially famous in these southern campaigns.
    1. schams
      schams 26 December 2015 00: 34 New
      great article. The idea of ​​creation is good. There are other names besides Skobelev: Nalivkin, Ostroumov ... And then - the film !!!!!!!!
  10. Nikolay71
    Nikolay71 23 December 2015 15: 09 New
    Thanks to the author! These are the articles that make VO interesting and useful, IMHO.
  11. moskowit
    moskowit 23 December 2015 16: 28 New
    Extremely informative and interesting. When I got acquainted with the VO website about five years ago, I naively thought that it would conduct reviews of the historical plan. The history of military equipment, armies, regiments, combat arms, etc. etc. But ... What is, such is. Of course, a lot does not fit into the declared theme of the site, but for the sake of a few "pearls", like this material, you can put up with it.
  12. miru mir
    miru mir 23 December 2015 21: 56 New
    Very interesting article!
  13. schams
    schams 26 December 2015 00: 33 New
    Excellent article!