Military Review

"Red Shaitan" - the storm of basmachs

Hollywood erected comic book heroes in the cult of national heroes, while Soviet directors went the opposite way. They made quite real people legends who defended hundreds of people at the cost of their own lives in the most difficult times for Russia. It happened with a simple border guard of the Russian Imperial Army, Mikhail Pospelov.

It was from him that the creators of the “White Sun of the Desert” film sketched the image of the customs officer Vereshchagin, who was so much loved by the people that he became a symbol of the entire customs service of the USSR, and later of Russia - monuments were erected from the customs services in several cities at once, the ships.

Surprisingly, the director Vladimir Motyl did not have to embellish the image of the hero in the film, because the life of Pospelov was so full of unprecedented feats. For the first time he heard about border guard Motyl during a business trip to Turkmenistan, where they spoke about a Russian miracle hero even after his death.

Mikhail Pospelov was born in 1884 year in the most ordinary family in the city of Orel. Among his peers, he stood out for his remarkable strength, unsurpassed riding skills and perfectly knew how to find a common language with people. This helped him to enter the Tiflis Military School without problems, after which in 1911, he returned to serve in his native city as a lieutenant. It was boring for a hot young officer to spend days at headquarters, so he gladly participated in all sorts of dressage and possession saber competitions — during his service in the Russian Imperial Army he received six imperial awards, which were always adorned with sheath of checkers.

By 1913, his endless requests for transfer to a more suitable place for him were nevertheless satisfied and Pospelov went to the border with Persia, to the Hermabian border detachment, where our hero opened up in all its glory.

Starting with the command of one small outpost, he soon became the head of the entire detachment standing on guard of the 100-verst section of the border. Pospelov launched an active struggle with the Basmachis' gangs and smugglers in the region. Despite the valiant fervor, the officer made a bet on cunning. First of all, Pospelov created an agent network among the local population, which was extremely dissatisfied with extortion and robbery of the robbers. It is obvious that his hundreds of fighters could not control such a long stretch of the border, but with the help of the local, the detachment had eyes and ears all over the front.

Now the patrols were not chasing the elusive gangs across the endless expanses, but opened up a real hunt for them, arranging ambushes in the most unexpected places. And always the fighters in battle led the Russian hero. It was for his omnipresence that the basmachi called him Shaitan, because in the stories they told to each other, Pospelov found himself in several places at once.

But he was not nicknamed red for political affiliation. The first thing that threw people in the eye was not at all youthful to become an officer and not his sword, sparkling with awards, but long and magnificent red mustache and equally bright fiery hair. According to the surviving enemies, in the heat of battle, it seemed as if they had to fight with a fiery demon. So officer Mikhail Pospelov became “Red Shaytan”.

But it was only an adage to his adventures. All his work went to pieces when a revolution occurred in the country. Within a few months, nothing remained of his detachment - the rank and file, recruited mainly from the central parts of Russia, rushed to protect their families, and the officers fled to Persia, or began to join the White Guards. He didn’t hold anyone back, perfectly understanding the feelings of his comrades. As a result, only he, his spouse, their two daughters and a translator remained in the detachment.

“Red Shaitan” was well aware that the enemies would come very soon for him and his family, but he did not leave the post. Instead, he turned his house into a real fortress, and it was very accurately recreated later in the film - a garden with a variety of trees, a pond with carps and peacocks. Pospelov taught everyone to protect this stronghold of calm - the spouse mastered a machine gun, and both daughters mastered rifles, despite their young age. The family lived exactly the same way as shown in the film - up to 1919, it defended its home and family. Most of weapons remained at the disposal of the detachment, so there was no shortage of means of defense. A machine gun was installed on the roof, behind which the spouse was often located, and the “Red Shaitan” itself was shot from several bomb-bombs installed in the courtyard. When there were no enemies, Pospelov drank longing for a distant homeland with moonshine, exactly like the customs officer Vereshchagin. But only until his patience is exhausted.

Later, describing the image of Vereshchagin, the writer Vladimir Sharov will say - “In the film, and especially in the character of Vereshchagin, is our true self-image. We are powerful, condescending and uncluttered. We drink a lot, but from the sadness and imperfection of the world. We are sure that our image is distorted by enemies or circumstances. Evil we do not wish anyone, and when everything completely goes beyond, in silence, but rather decisively eliminate untruth and evil. ” The same can be fully attributed to the life of “Red Shaitan”.

However, Pospelov does not die in an unequal struggle, like his alter-ego in the movies. One day he decides that he cannot live any longer and appeals to the elders of the neighboring settlements to jointly resist the Basmachis. Of the local volunteers, “Red Shaitan” revives its legendary frontier detachment from the ashes.

In just six months, the new border guard fully regains control over the entrusted section of the border, and in December 1919, when the Soviets take power over Turkmenistan, the Pospelov militia joins the Red Army and becomes the border battalion. After a year and a half, the Tsarist officer is appointed to command the protection of the entire Soviet-Persian border. At the same time, he is training new officers.

As soon as the whole frontier is under the control of well-trained and armed officers of the Red Army, Pospelov leaves his post for a much more ambitious task - the “Red Shaitan” declares war to the Basmachi in the entire Asia-controlled Asia. It takes him five years. He also personally arranges insidious ambushes for gangs, actively attracts the local population and shares with all his knowledge and experience so that his “Red Shaitans” appear in all corners of Asia Minor.

At the end of 30-s, old wounds and age no longer allowed the hero to keep up with the grown shifts and “Red Shaitan” changed his profession, although he did not say goodbye to his fiery hypostasis - he headed the fire department of Tashkent. Because of his age, he was forbidden to go to the Great Patriotic War, but he himself was not particularly eager, but continued to train young people, what he did until the last days of his life. “Red Shaitan” died in 1962, at the age of 78. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren continued his work, making the words of the heroic grandfather, which he said in response to the White Guard's invitation to flee to the UK, “I am the border guard, and my job is to guard the border of the Fatherland.” And I'm not going anywhere from here. ”
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  1. EvgNik
    EvgNik 11 June 2016 05: 33
    "White sun of the desert" once a year I definitely watch. In the mood when you have free time. But I didn't know that it was based on real events. To the author - bravo.
      PHANTOM-AS 11 June 2016 07: 45
      Words for all time!
  2. Samy
    Samy 11 June 2016 06: 03
    Bravo. I did not know about the prototype of the hero of the film. And outwardly similar and the character is well described.
    1. Duke
      Duke 12 June 2016 23: 39
      Pospelov Mikhail Dmitrievich

  3. Pitot
    Pitot 11 June 2016 06: 03
    Because Russia is still alive. She is strong with such worthy people. But how then to relate to the moaning of the liberals that under Stalin (and in general the Soviet government) the nobles and tsarist officers were destroyed?
    1. Russian jacket
      Russian jacket 11 June 2016 08: 45
      Almost the entire intelligence department of the imperial general staff of the Russian Empire went over to the Bolsheviks ... And he worked. Liberals do not know about this, but most likely do not want to remember, otherwise the myth of annihilation will come to naught hi
  4. Mihail55
    Mihail55 11 June 2016 07: 18
    To the author !!! Please correct the date of birth of the hero.
  5. surrozh
    surrozh 11 June 2016 07: 22
    Thank you enlightened. Such articles should be dealt with by the Ministry of Culture, and art studios should be promoted in the form of films. "White Tiger" is not bad, but it is rather weak against "Star Wars" or "The Matrix", and here you don't need to invent anything, both plots and real people - here they are, close by.
  6. parusnik
    parusnik 11 June 2016 07: 41
    About Pospelov M.D. the film "The Story of an Old Border Guard" was filmed, you can watch it on Youtube. Thanks to the author for the article ..
    1. Monarchist
      Monarchist 11 June 2016 14: 27
      Thanks for the info. I’ll definitely use it, maybe you know where else to read about it?
      1. parusnik
        parusnik 11 June 2016 22: 53
        Unfortunately ... I was on a business trip in Moscow, visited the specified museum, then like the author found on the specified source .. I tried to find a movie on Youtube ..
  7. V.ic
    V.ic 11 June 2016 07: 54
    Real Russian.
  8. bionik
    bionik 11 June 2016 07: 55
    I found this photo. Negotiations with the leaders of the Basmachi.
    1. sherp2015
      sherp2015 11 June 2016 12: 15
      Quote: bionik
      Negotiations with the leaders of the Basmachi.

      sickly dastarkhan ...
  9. AnpeL
    AnpeL 11 June 2016 08: 23
    Quote: EvgNik
    "White sun of the desert" once a year I definitely watch. In the mood when you have free time. But I didn't know that it was based on real events. To the author - bravo.

    I also watch it once a year. The constant habit of watching this film late in the evening on December 31.
  10. Russian jacket
    Russian jacket 11 June 2016 08: 42
    This is the RUSSIAN CHARACTER of the Russian man .... The salt of the earth .... And now there are the same "shaitans", which means our land will live .... soldier hi
  11. erased
    erased 11 June 2016 09: 26
    Extra evidence that many imperial officers went to the Red Army themselves. And nobody then shot them. Although everything happened, but if a person serves honestly and gives his whole soul to the cause, he receives both awards and honor and ranks.
    Pospelov is a true hero of the Russian (Soviet) people!
  12. Black cat
    Black cat 11 June 2016 09: 41
    A real hero, about these you need to make individual films. And our cinema hit Hollywood.
  13. polk-66
    polk-66 11 June 2016 09: 44
    Quote: erased
    Extra evidence that many imperial officers went to the Red Army themselves. And nobody then shot them. Although everything happened, but if a person serves honestly and gives his whole soul to the cause, he receives both awards and honor and ranks.
    Pospelov is a true hero of the Russian (Soviet) people!

    Another striking example is the legendary Brusilov ("Brusilov Breakthrough"), chief inspector of the Red Army cavalry (1923).
  14. akm8226
    akm8226 11 June 2016 10: 04
    This officer kept my section of the border!
    1. nimboris
      nimboris 28 June 2016 11: 36
      Hello to the border guards! For PV! (which is no longer)
  15. overb
    overb 11 June 2016 10: 07
    Quote: Arseny Gursky
    in 1884 in the most ordinary family in the city of Oryol. Among his peers, he stood out by his remarkable strength, unsurpassed riding skill

    And what is this "most ordinary family"? Scions of all families in Oryol in the 19th century. have fun with horse riding?
    Quote: Arseny Gursky
    He knew how to find a common language with people. This helped him to enter the Tiflis Military School without any problems.

    What, is this skill right? Or is it the origin? Of the "most common Noble families"?
    Quote: Arseny Gursky
    exactly like a customs officer Vereshchagin

    The actor actually looks like him.
    PS. And the lieutenant is good. The power is felt in him. I would remove his photo in old age from the article.
    1. Victor N
      Victor N 11 June 2016 10: 43
      And do not forget that the overwhelming majority of noblemen are Russians, promoted to nobility from among the best of the common people. And not all "simple" ones were worthy to be called Russians, as they are now, but deserved nothing more than the status of "cattle".
    2. revnagan
      revnagan 11 June 2016 16: 19
      Quote: overb
      From "the most ordinary noble family"?

      Quote: overb
      From "the most ordinary noble family"?

      -Abram Moiseevich was born into a poor Jewish family, graduated from a local music school and went to study at the Vienna Conservatory ...
      -How, you said that he was born in a poor family?
      -No, I said that Abram Moiseevich was born into a poor Jewish family ...
  16. Basil50
    Basil50 11 June 2016 10: 17
    The undisputed hero, MIKHAIL POSPELOV, but would like to draw attention to the fact that the standards of the West are gradually becoming the standards in RUSSIA, this is about not mentioning the patronymic. And the director Vladimir Motyl and writer Vladimir Sharov by name, but without a middle name. Are they not worthy of mention by a full NAME and PATTERN?
  17. The comment was deleted.
  18. thinker
    thinker 11 June 2016 15: 42

    Documentary film about Mikhail Dmitrievich Pospelov.
    Production: Central Frontier Museum of the FSB of Russia. year 2009.
  19. wow
    wow 11 June 2016 18: 30
    Glory to the HERO !!!
  20. dionis
    dionis 11 June 2016 20: 16
    Great article. Wow, I could not even imagine such that such a person existed. That's who you need to level off. There are not a few such people, but unfortunately little is written about them.
  21. Grishka cat
    Grishka cat 11 June 2016 20: 39
    I read the article, as many tears came up! Yes, there were enough and enough heroes in Russia and will be enough! I'm sure! And the words: I do not take a bribe, I must remember every civil servant and not only him. Since you were not sorry for the power!
  22. dv_generalov
    dv_generalov 11 June 2016 22: 00
    Glory to the Hero! Thanks for the article, it was very interesting to read.
  23. pafegosoff
    pafegosoff 11 June 2016 22: 00
    ".. We are powerful, indulgent and restless. We drink a lot, but from sadness and imperfection of the world. We are sure that our image is distorted by enemies or circumstances. We wish no one evil, and when everything is completely out of bounds, silently, but enough we resolutely eliminate untruth and evil. "
    Nice, short and precise.
    Thanks! I called my brother, and he said: "Well, that's how it is known. I saw in the museum back in 1972 ...",
  24. potapych
    potapych 11 June 2016 22: 51
    man !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  25. Idiot
    Idiot 12 June 2016 21: 00
    For twenty years I talked with customs. I have never met anyone who would be offended by a power ...
  26. Idiot
    Idiot 12 June 2016 21: 00
    For twenty years I talked with customs. I have never met anyone who would be offended by a power ... But, of course, this does not apply to the hero of the article.
  27. Badmicke
    Badmicke 13 June 2016 08: 32
    An excellent article, and most importantly, what pleased us was that the hero continued his work until his death.
  28. Simon
    Simon 13 June 2016 09: 57
    I am proud of this man who stood on the border of Russia, while not changing it, although the political status of the state has changed.
    1. Mordvin 3
      Mordvin 3 13 June 2016 13: 14
      I read about him at AiF. And for the state, it’s really a shame.
  29. Bashibuzuk
    Bashibuzuk 13 June 2016 13: 20
    Great article! Awesome.
    What impresses me most is that I, myself, from Central Asia, lived in Tashkent.
    Now in Orel.
    What intersections, it turns out, happen in life.
    Interestingly, Colonel Pospelov Mikhail Dmitrievich has a continuation in life.
    For example, from the site - "... The fact is that on Uritskogo street, 29, apt. 37 from the mid-20s to 1962-63 my grandfather Mikhail Dmitrievich Pospelov (colonel of the border troops) lived and grandmother Sofya Grigorievna (daughter of Major General of the General Staff of Russia Pokrovsky G.V.) ... If you wish, take a look at the site: "Victory Portal about front-line soldiers" and typing in the "search for a front-line soldier" frame grandfather - you will meet your legendary compatriot, who was the prototype of the customs officer in "White Sun of the Desert" ..... ".
    The exact link is http: // / ....................
    Great is Russia, oh and great.
    How many more of our own heroes we do not know.
    And the kids Batman and Spider-Man rave.
    Shiza, some kind.
    Eternal memory to you, Pospelov Mikhail Dmitrievich.
  30. Galleon
    Galleon 13 June 2016 15: 13
    Many thanks to the author for the article !! He was surprised and delighted. I will tell my children.
  31. Victorio
    Victorio 13 June 2016 18: 22
    ) colorful personality, thanks for posting
  32. Damir
    Damir 2 October 2016 19: 18
    Oh, how I look at him there and the kitty was quite a leopard .....