“They will not send Kushka any more, they will not give less to a platoon,” the old adage of the officers of the imperial, and later, the Soviet army. Alas, now the name Kushka says nothing 99,99% of our high school students and students. Well, until 1991, Kushka, our schoolchildren knew as the most southerly point of the USSR, a place “where geography ends” and where in July the temperature rises over + 40 degrees, and in January - –20 degrees. However, few people know that it was here that Russian engineers at the end of the 1890-s built a fortress, the most powerful in all of Central Asia.
PLEASURE OF FUN.
The fortresses of imperial Russia are still in oblivion. Any church of the XVIII century or the house of the merchant of the XIX century have long become sights of county towns, and capital tourists carry there by buses.
Well, our fortresses have always been the "top" secrets of the empire. Even after the abolition of the fortress, she did not cease to remain a closed object - a military warehouse, a prison for political prisoners, etc. Thus, the Rubezh missile complex was based at the Reef fort in Kronstadt for a long time. Fortresses were convenient objects for conducting experiments in creating chemical and biological weapons. Recall the "Plague Fort" in Kronstadt. In the 1930-ies in the forts of the Brest Fortress, the Poles conducted tests of biological weapons on prisoners, etc.
Kushka did not escape this fate - until the beginning of the XXI century there was a Soviet and later Russian military base there.
AT THE FAITHNESS OF THE RUSSIAN KING
Russians came to Kushka 131 a year ago. In 1882, Lieutenant General A.V. was appointed Head of the Transcaspian Region. Mosquitoes. He paid special attention to the city of Merv - “the nest of robbery and destruction, which slowed down the development of almost all of Central Asia”, and at the end of 1883, he sent the head captain Alikhanov and the Tekinian major Makhmut-Kuli Khan with a proposal to the Mervians to accept Russian citizenship. This assignment was carried out brilliantly, and already on 25 on January 1884, the Mervtsev’s deputation arrived in Askhabad and presented Komarov with a petition addressed to the emperor to accept the city of Merv into Russian citizenship. The highest consent was soon entrusted, and the Mervtsy swore allegiance to the Russian Tsar.
In 1883, Emir Abdurrahman Khan, instigated by the British, occupied the Pendi oasis on the Murtab River. At the same time, Afghan troops captured the strategically important point of Akrabat, a junction of mountain roads. Akrabat was inhabited by Turkmen, and now it is located on the territory of Turkmenistan.
Afghan troops occupied the Tash Kepri post on the Kushka River, where Kushka is now located. The patience of General Komarov came the limit, and he formed a special Murghab detachment to provide resistance to the invaders. There were eight infantry companies in the detachment, three hundred Cossacks, one hundred Turkmen horsemen, a demining team and four mountain cannons, about 1800 people in total.
By March 8 1885, the Murghab detachment moved to Aymak-Jaar, March 12 approached the Krush-Dushan tract, and the next day approached Kash-Kepri and stopped at the Russian advanced post from 30 militiamen on Kizil-tepe hill. Two to four versts from the Russian squad were Afghans under the command of Naib Salar. Salar had 2,5 thousand horsemen and 1,5 thousand infantry with eight guns.
General Komarov tried to negotiate with the Afghans and the British officer, Captain Yetta. As Komarov informed, Afghans became more and more impudent, taking the negotiations started with them as a sign of weakness.
18 March 1885 of the year in 5 hours of the morning Russian troops moved on the Afghans. They approached the enemy on 500 steps and stopped. The first to open fire were Afghans. Screaming "Allah!" The cavalry went on the attack. The Russians greeted them with intense rifle and artillery fire, and then launched a counterattack.
As Abdurrahman Khan wrote in his autobiography, the battle barely started, “the English officers immediately fled to Herat together with all their troops and retinue.” Afghans rushed to run after them. General Komarov did not want to quarrel with the emir and forbade cavalry to pursue fleeing Afghans. Therefore, they got off relatively easily - around 500 people were killed and 24 was captured. The number of wounded is unknown, but in any case there were many of them. Naib-Salar himself was wounded.
Among the Russian trophies were all 8 Afghan guns and 70 camels. The losses of the Russians amounted to killed 9 people (1 officer and 8 lower ranks) and 35 people wounded and shell-shocked (5 officers and 30 lower ranks).
The day after the victory, 19 in March 1885, Komarov received a deputation from independent Pendinsky Saryks and Ersarians with a request to accept them into Russian citizenship. As a result, Pendinsky District was established from the lands cleared of Afghans.
LONDON BEATS IN HYSTERICS
After the battle on Kushka, Russia and England once again found themselves on the brink of war. Any promotion of Russian troops in Central Asia caused hysteria in London and an explosion of emotions in the corrupt press: “Russians are going to India!” It is clear that this propaganda was intended for the British man in the street, so that he would be more willing to support military spending and the adventures of his government. But the side effect of these campaigns was that the Hindus really believed that the Russians could come and free them from the British. In 80-s of the XIX century, a well-known orientalist, a researcher of Buddhism Ivan Pavlovich Minaev visited India. In his travel diary, published only 75 years later, he wrote, not without irony: “The British talked so much about the possibility of the Russian invasion that the Indians believed them.”
As a result, the "petitioners" reached Tashkent. So, at the beginning of the 60-ies of the XIX century, the embassy of the Maharajah of Kashmir Rambir Singh arrived. He was received by the military governor Chernyaev. Singers of Singa said that the people "are waiting for the Russians." Chernyaev was forced to reply that "the Russian government is not looking for gains, but only for the spread and approval of trade, beneficial to all peoples with whom it wants to live in peace and harmony."
Then a messenger from the Maharajah of the Principality of Indour appeared in Tashkent. He presented a blank sheet of paper to Russian officers. When the sheet was heated on the fire, letters appeared on it. Maharaj Indura Mukhamed-Galikhan addressed the Russian emperor: “After hearing about your heroic deeds, I was very happy, my joy is so great that if I wanted to express it all, then there would be no paper.” This message was compiled in the name of the union of the principalities Indore, Hyderabad, Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jaipur. It ended with the words: “When hostilities begin with the British, then I will harm them greatly and within one month I will drive them out of India.”
This embassy was followed by a number of others. Soon a new mission arrived in Tashkent from the Maharajah of Kashmir, led by Baba Karam Parkaas. And in 1879, the head of the Zeravshan district received the seventy-year-old guru Charan Singh. In the book cover of the Vedic hymns, the elder carried a thin sheet of blue paper. It was a letter written in Punjabi, unsigned and undated, addressed to the Turkestan Governor-General. He was summoned by Baba Ram Singh, the “high priest and chief of the Sikh tribe in India”.
Lieutenant Colonel N.Ya. Shneur, who traveled around India in 1881, wrote: “When going to Elephant Island, a customs official approached me at the pier, after asking loudly if I was a Russian officer, and said that the matter had been settled in customs. The word “Russian officer” made a strong impression on boatmen, and especially on our guide. As soon as we landed on the island, he with feverish excitement removed me from other publics and asked: “Will General Skobelev soon come with the Russian army?” Remembering the instruction given to me to be careful, I replied that I was going from Japan and did not know anything I do not even know where General Skobelev should go. “Of course, you will not say this,” he replied, “but we know that Skobelev is already close and will soon come to India.”
Having joined Central Asia, the Russians began to intensively build railways there.
Kushka, the southernmost point of the Russian Empire, became an important stronghold for the struggle against England.
At first, the Russian fortifications in Kushka were called the Kushkinsky fasting. In August, the 1890 of the 6-th Caucasian Equestrian Regiment of the 1 was stationed there. The post was built 6 km from the Afghan border.
In the spring of 1891, the 1 company of the 5 th Zakashysky rifle battalion and 40 of the lower ranks of the Serakh local team from the fortifications of Sarakhs arrived at the Kushkinsky post from the Pul-e-Khatun and the 4-th 6 mountain battery platoon (two XNUMs) from Askhabad arrived at the Kushkinsky post. -inch guns sample 2,5 g.) 1883-th artillery brigade.
In addition to the Kushkinskaya fortress company, which was finally formed in Askhabad 30 in May 1893, a non-standard mobile half-battery was formed by means of artillery units of the region in 1894.
By the 1895, the Kushkinsky post was armed with eight 9-pounders and four 4-pound copper cannons arr. 1867 of the year, sixteen half-frame smooth mortars arr. 1838 of the year and eight 4,2-linear (10,7-mm) machine guns. Then the machine guns were called and the Gatling bullpen.
In 1896, the Kushkinsky post was reformed into a class IV fortress. Construction of protected batteries and forts began there. By 1897, Kushka was supposed to have 37 rifled guns (available 36), 16 smoothbore (16) and 8 (8) machine guns.
In 1900, the railroad came to Kushka. So said in "Stories railway transport in Russia ". In fact, the first train arrived at the fort in December 1898. The fact is that the first two years the railway was secret. In April, the 1897 of the 1-th and 2-th Trans-Caspian railway battalions near the town of Merv on the 843-verst of the Central Asian Railway began the construction of a normal track line to Kushka.
The road was secret for two years, and only 1 on July 1900 of the year was transferred from the Military Department to the Ministry of Railways, and civilian cargo began to follow it. For the first few years, postal passenger trains traveled from Merv to Kushka twice a week: on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and back again on Mondays and Thursdays. 315 km train overcame for 14 – 15 hours. This was due to the difficult terrain and weak railroad tracks. On the railway carried out strict passport control. It was only possible to get to Kushka by special permission of the gendarme control.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Russian settlers settled in Kushka. Among them were Molokans and other sectarians, as well as people from Central Russia and the Little Russian provinces. Russian villages flourished. The fact is that the War Department purchased bread and other products from Russian settlers at fixed prices, regardless of market fluctuations.
It is curious that the secret railway on Kushka remained. But it was a completely different road - the 750-mm gauge military railway. At first, it was served by a field railway company, which, from 1 on April 1904, was reorganized into a railway company.
In Kushka, the southernmost point of the Russian Empire, there was probably the only one of the crosses designed to determine the borders of the state in relation to the cardinal points. Photo RIA News
Kushkinskaya military field railway was so secret that the author literally had to collect information about it. For example, in October 1900, a two-axle steam locomotive-tank of type G.1 weighing 7,75 t for 750-mm gauge arrived in Kushka. It was used as a shunting locomotive in the Kushkinsky railway field park. And this park was intended for the operational construction of a railway to Afghanistan, up to the border with India, and, if necessary, further. The speed of laying the railway field railway could reach 8 – 9 versts per day, that is, coincide with the rate of advance of the infantry units. Naturally, high-speed trains could not walk along military field roads, and the speed of 750 versts per hour was considered normal for 15-mm gauge. The capacity of the Kushkinskaya military field railway is 50 thousand pounds (820 tons) per day.
27 September 1900 The Office of the General Staff’s military communications entered into an agreement with the Kolomna Plant to manufacture 36 locomotives of the 0-3-0 type with tender and oil heating intended for 200-MTPD located in the Kushka fortress. Immediately after the outbreak of hostilities, the Kushka – Herat branch was to be laid 171 versts away.
In addition to the locomotives, 220 platforms, 12 tanks, one service and three passenger cars, as well as superstructure materials, semaphores, water pumps, oil pumps and 13 collapsible bridges (8 - 26 m and 5 - 12 m long) were ordered.
In 1903, the Kolomna Plant manufactured an 33 locomotive, which at the end of 1903 - the beginning of 1904, was delivered to Kushka.
In the middle of 1910, due to the deterioration of the military-political situation in the Balkans, the Military Ministry decided to “form two modern steam parks (in Kiev and in Baranavichy) from the property of the Kushkinsky Field Railway Company” and retool all the locomotives for coal heating. From the beginning of November 1912 to the end of February 1913, the 42 narrow-gauge steam locomotive was delivered from Kushka to Kiev.
In exchange for this, 31 August 1914, the Kolomna Plant was ordered 78 narrow-gauge steam locomotives to complete the railway park in Kushka. To this end, in 1910, the Council of Ministers allocated 2,5 million rubles. in gold. Alas, in a few days the First World War began, and the new batch of steam locomotives did not get into Kushka.
FOR ACTION AGAINST BRITTANS
With the arrival of the railroad in Kushka, siege artillery began to go there. Of course, it was not intended for battles with Afghans, but for the bombardment of British fortresses in India. Whether for the convenience of bureaucrats in the Defense Ministry, or for conspiracy, the siege artillery in Kushka was considered the "branch of the Caucasian siege park."
By January 1 1904 16 6-inch (152-mm) guns weighing 120 pounds, 4 8-inch guns (203-mm) light mortars, 16 light (87-mm) guns, consisted of a “branch”. 1877 of the year, 16 half-mortar mortars, and also 16 machine guns of Maxim, of which 15 were on a high serf, and one on a field machine. In Kushka, it was assumed to contain 18 thousand shells, and in fact there were 17 386 shells.
In 1902, the Kushkinsky branch of the Caucasus siege park was renamed the 6 siege regiment. During 1904, GAU planned to send 16 8-inch light guns and 12 8-inch light mortars to Kushka. About this as a fait accompli in 1905, the year was reported to the Minister of War, and he included the data in the annual report. But, alas, the guns were never sent.
The artillery of the Kushkinsky siege park from January 1 1904 to July 1 1917-th remained unchanged. Here it should be noted that the material part of the siege park (6 of the siege regiment) was stored in the territory of the Kushkinsky fortress, but never mixed with the fortress artillery, including ammunition, spare parts, etc.
In January 1902, the Kushkinskaya fortress was listed from class IV to class III. By October 1 1904, in service of the Kushkin fortress artillery consisted 18 light (87-mm) and 8 horse-drawn (87-mm) guns arr. 1877 of the Year, 10 6-inch Field Mortars, 16 Half-Pounds Mortars, and 48 10-Barrels and 6 6-Barrels Gatling Linear Guns.
By 1 July 1916, the armament of the fortress was strengthened to 21 light gun, two battery (107-mm) guns, 6 2,5-inch mountain guns arr. 1883 of the year and 50 7,62-mm Maxim machine guns. Mortar weapons remained unchanged. By the beginning of 1917, more than 5000 rifles and up to 2 million ammunition were stored in the Kushkinskaya fortress.
UNDER SOVIET POWER
In 1914, a super-powerful spark radio station (35 kW) was installed at the fortress, providing a stable connection with Petrograd, Sevastopol, Vienna and Calcutta.
Late in the evening on October 25 (November 7) 1917, the Kushkinskaya radio station received a message from the cruiser Aurora radio station, which reported on the overthrow of the Provisional Government. Thus, the officers of the fortress were the first to learn about the October Revolution in Petrograd in Central Asia. The most curious thing is that the senior officers of the fortress immediately and unconditionally took the side of the Bolsheviks.
The commandant of the fortress, Lieutenant-General Alexander Pavlovich Vostrosablin ordered to radio in Petrograd about the transfer of Kushka to the side of Soviet power. Well, the headquarters of the fortress headquarters, Captain Konstantin Slivitsky was elected chairman of the Council of Soldiers Deputies of the fortress. Later he will become a Soviet diplomatic representative in Afghanistan.
In some ways, this position can be explained by the fact that not quite politically trustworthy officers were sent to Kushka. So, for example, in 1907, in 33, Vostrosablin was already a major general, was the head of the Sevastopol fortress artillery. And in the 1910 year, he was removed from the command in Sevastopol and poisoned into God’s forgotten Kushka. The fact is that Aleksandr Pavlovich was fundamentally opposed to taking cruel measures against revolutionary soldiers and sailors.
On the night of July 12, the anti-Soviet insurrection began in Askhabad (Ashkhabad), headed by the Social Revolutionaries: locomotive driver F.A. Funtikov and Count A.I. Dorrer The insurgents managed to capture a number of cities, including Askhabad, Tedzhen and Merv. Began mass executions of supporters of the Soviet government. A “Transcaspian Provisional Government” was formed, headed by Funtikov. Well, the fact that Fedya was pretty drunk at the meeting did not bother anyone.
Kushka was deep in the rear of the rebels and basmachs. The nearest red parts were at least 500 km.
The “government” of Transcaspian commissioned the commander of the Murghab sector of the front of the rebels, Colonel Zykov, to take the military property of the fortress. With a two-thousandth detachment of soldiers and basmachi 9 August 1918, the colonel arrived under the walls of Kushka, hoping that the 400 defenders of the citadel would immediately give up weapons and ammunition.
The radio station of Kushki intercepted the negotiations of the head of the British military mission, General W. Mapleson, with the commanders of military units in Mashhad (Persia). Of these, it was clear that 28 July, the British troops crossed the border. The battalion of the Punjab regiment and the company of the Yorkshire and Hampshire regiments, cavalry and artillery are moving towards Askhabad.
After reviewing the text of the interception, Vostrosablin gave the answer to the rebels: “I am the lieutenant-general of the Russian army, the honor of a nobleman and an officer commands me to serve my people. We remain loyal to the people's power and will defend the fortress to the last opportunity. And if there is a threat of a seizure of the warehouse and the transfer of property to the interventionists, I will blow up the arsenal. ”
The two-week siege of Kushka began.
On August 20, a combined Red Army detachment under the command of the former head-captain of the tsarist army S.P. approached Kushka from the north. Timoshkova. The detachment consisted of two rifle companies, an equestrian machine-gun crew and a cavalry squadron. But fear has big eyes: as the Red Army soldiers approached, Colonel Zykov fled with a small group of Basmachs through the mountains to Askhabad. Timoshkov's cavalrymen and arrows quickly dispersed the remnants of the besiegers. From the unlocked Kushka to Tashkent for the Red Army of Turkestan 70 guns, 80 carriage shells, 2 million cartridges and other property were sent.
For heroic fighting against the White Guard troops, the fortress of Kushka was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. In 1921, commandant A.P. Vostrosablin and the commander of the consolidated detachment S.P. Timoshkov "For military distinctions on the Transcaspian front against the White Guards" was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of the RSFSR. Unfortunately, Alexander Pavlovich received the award posthumously.
In January 1920, Vostrosablin received a new appointment - he became a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic of Turkestan and inspector of the troops of the Turkestan Military District. During his service in Tashkent, the general took part in the suppression of the Social Revolutionary insurrection, raised in January 1919 by former warrant officer K. Osipov.
The merits of Vostrosablin before the revolution were great, and in August 1920, he was elected delegate from Turkestan to the regional congress of the peoples of the East, held in Baku. On the way back, Vostrosablin was killed in the train by unknown persons.
"TREASURES" OF INTERVENTS AND SEARCHES OF THE KLAD
Now a number of historians are painstakingly looking for leaders who could lead Russia along the “third” path in the Civil War. Here, they say, if they had obeyed, there would have been neither red nor white terror, the birds would sing, and peyzans would dance. Whom do they not pull up under the "third force" - either Kronstadt rebels, or Makhno. And now the wise historians are telling us tales of a “real” working Caspian government headed by a furious Funtikova and Count Dorrer.
Alas, all the characters who followed the “third” path had the same fate - either the Red Army blocked the path, or the white generals and the royal marines were waiting for them.
It was the same with the “Transcaspian Government”. British troops occupied the south of Central Asia. 2 January 1919, the British arrested the "temporary". In exchange, General W. Mapleson found a "directory" of five real gentlemen.
Having held the Trans-Caspian ministers for a week under lock and key, the “enlightened navigators” released them, giving a good kick in farewell. Count Dorrer went to Denikin and became his secretary of the court martial. He died in Cairo. Funtikov went to the peasantry on the farm near Nizhny Novgorod. In January, 1925, my own daughter, passed him to the GPU. Since it was Funtikov who ordered the execution of 26 by Baku commissars, a demonstration process took place in Baku, broadcast on radio throughout the republic ...
The defense of the Kushkinsky fortress in 1918 was continued in the autumn of 1950. Even before the revolt of Funtikov, the Bolshevik leadership of Askhabad ordered the transfer of jewels and gold from the Transcaspian region to Kushka. By order of Vostrosablin, the treasures were walled up in an underground passage connecting the Kushkinskaya citadel with the Ivanovo fort.
After the Civil War, why the burial site was forgotten for a long time, and how “organs” learned about them in 1950, there are many legends. But, alas, none of them has documentary evidence. The treasure was found in sealed zinc boxes of ammunition. At night, the MGB officers carried the boxes out of the dungeon and loaded them onto the indoor Studebaker. More than these boxes and "emgebeshnikov" no one saw.
Now the forts of Kushka are almost completely destroyed, and the 10-meter stone cross on the highest point of Kushka and two monuments to Lenin in the village remind of the glorious Russian fortress. In honor of the 300 anniversary of the Romanov dynasty in the four most extreme points of the Russian Empire, it was decided to put huge crosses. As far as I know, they put only one cross at the southernmost point of the empire, south of Gibraltar and Crete.