SOVIET RUSSIA. Brief history of the USSR
The large-scale military actions of the white armies in the 1919 winter-summer campaign opened the Eastern Front. The crisis situation was revealed from the first days of the offensive. This situation was not accidental. V.I. Lenin pointed out: "... the concentration of all forces on the Southern Front caused an extremely weakening of the Eastern Front. We could not give reinforcements there." Other circumstances also played a role: fatigue of troops. After the winter offensive, mistakes made by the front command, lack of strength in the troops (the key 5th army consisted of just over 11 thousand people), poor supply and, finally, difficult conditions military operations, when a significant part of the peasantry, without waiting for changes in domestic policy, actually launched a guerrilla war.
The offensive of A.V. Kolchak's troops due to the disagreements of the Entente countries developed in two directions at once, which weakened the blow and made it possible to carry out maneuvers in separate parts of the Red Army. First, on March 4, the Siberian army launched an offensive, developing it in the direction of the Botkinsky plant and then on Vyatka. Having broken through the front at the junction of the 2nd and 3rd Soviet armies, General Gaida’s troops occupied Vot-Kinsk, Sarapul, Izhevsk, advancing 130 km in advance for 130 days. On March 6, the Western Army began its campaign. She was opposed by the weakened 5th Soviet Army. March 14, white troops occupied Ufa. By mid-April, Bugulma, Belebey, Sterlitamak and Buguruslan fell. On April 12, Kolchak’s headquarters issued the “Volga Directive”, which envisages the seizure of bridges at Kazan, Syzran and Sim-Birsk with further advancement towards the connection with Denikin’s troops. The advance units of the white troops were located 35 km from the Volga, near the town of Spassk.
The Eastern Front was recognized as the main front of the Soviet Republic. The mobilization of communists gave 15 thousand people, Komsomol members - 3 thousand people, mobilization of workers - 60 thousand, and peasants - about 25 thousand. The total number mobilized on the Eastern Front was 107 618 people. The front was supplied with everything necessary, and for this purpose dozens of steam-wagons were repaired on numerous work days, initiated by the first work day on April 12, 1919, the depot workers Moscow-Sorting Moscow-Kazan railroad. The reorganization of the Eastern Front was subject to reorganization, whose armies united into two operational groups. The main counterattack was assigned to the Southern Group of Forces (5th, 1st, 4th and Turkestan armies led by M.V. Frunze), and the Northern Group of Forces (2nd and 3rd armies led by with V.I. Shorin) covered the path to Ka-Nyad and Vyatka with the subsequent transition to the offensive against the Siberian army of Gaida.
On April 28, 1919, the troops of the Southern Group of the Eastern Front launched a counterattack that lasted until June 19. A series of tactical operations led to the liberation of the previously lost Soviet territories, as well as to the seizure of the Urals with the cities of Yekaterinburg (July 14) and Chelyabinsk (July 24). Particularly significant was the defeat of the troops of Kolchak near Chelyabinsk , where the last reserves were spent, and about 15 thousand people were taken prisoner. It should be noted that until the very last moment, a similar fate threatened the 5th Army, which had escaped forward, headed by M.N. Tukhachevsky. The further development of events on the Eastern Front took place in two directions: West Siberian and Turkestan. The advance of the troops was restrained only by the aggravation of affairs on the Southern Front, where A. I. Denikin launched a powerful offensive. By the beginning of 1920, the troops of A. V. Kolchak were finally routed, and the admiral himself was arrested and shot on February 7, 1920, following the sentence of the Irkutsk Military Revolutionary Committee.
In the midst of the Soviet offensive on the Eastern Front, military operations were intensified on other fronts. The most dangerous was the offensive in the summer and autumn of 1919 on the southern front of the troops under the command of A.I. Denikin. Grigoriev’s anti-Soviet remarks, outlined contradictions with Makhno, the protracted reorganization of the Ukrainian Front troops, the pernicious policy of posting and unraveling, serious mistakes in the national question made the situation of Soviet power in Ukraine unstable. Attempts to strengthen the rear with the help of the red terror in the spring and summer of 1919 also proved to be unsuccessful. The 20 thousand executed All-Ukrainian Cheka worsened the situation. Torture in Kharkov and Taganrog undermined the former, since the time of liberation from the Germans and interventionists, the authority of the Soviet government. The disbanding of the Ukrainian Cheka, the cleansing of the party were a reaction from Moscow and did not change the situation. Economic and political repression extremely narrowed the base of Soviet power.
May 4, 1919 A.I. Denikin launched an offensive on Tsaritsyn, and from May 19 on Donbass directions. His troops consisted of three armies: Volunteer General V. 3. May-Mayevsky, Caucasian General P. N. Wrangel and Don General V. I. Sidorin. On June 14, May-Mayevsky took Kharkov, and on June 29 - Yekaterinoslav (the body of Shkuro). On June 30, the Wrangel Caucasian Army captured Tsaritsyn. It should be noted that the change of regime meant little to the population, the repression of whites differed from the red terror only by unsystematic, but not scale. According to incomplete data, only in Ukraine, Denikinians shot 38,436 people, mutilated and flogged 61,189 people. Expansion of the territory did not mean an increase in mobilization resources: recruitment to the army was extremely difficult.
Unlike the Red Army, where the Red Army man was fully supported, and his family was in a privileged position, the ordinary white army was hungry and cold, and his relatives were in poverty. As they advanced to the north, the white armies were forced to include in their ranks more and more new contingents of captured Red Army soldiers. The effectiveness of such a measure was questionable. The quality of troops, their controllability plummeted.
July 3, 1919 in Tsaritsyno Denikin gave the so-called "Moscow directive". According to her, the Caucasian army was advancing on Moscow bypassing: from the southeast through Penza, Nizhny Novgorod and Vladimir. On the Voronezh direction, the Don Army was supposed to operate. The main role was assigned to the May Mayevsky Volunteer Army, advancing along the shortest direction to Moscow. Already the Directive itself laid a certain overestimation of its own forces, ignoring the partisan movement (N.I. Makhno) and underestimating the forces of the Red Army and their reserves in the main thrusts of attacks. Meanwhile, having declared the Southern front as the main one, the Soviet command threw in military units here, simultaneously conducting a new mobilization. Due to the measures taken, the size of the Southern Front increased in just one month from 77 thousand to 164.5 thousand people, exceeding the number of Denikin's troops (150 thousand). In the same period Leonid Trotsky’s slogan, "Proletarian, on horseback!" - and the first equestrian red corps appeared, gradually reducing to white the advantage in cavalry.
The measures taken could not have an immediate effect, as shown by the August raid of General Mamontov on the Soviet rear and subsequent events. On August 23, Soviet troops were expelled from Odessa, and on August 30 from Kiev. The further successes of the white troops were associated mainly with the Volunteer Army, rushing to Moscow. On September 20, the 1st Army Corps of General Kutepov captured Kursk, and on October 13 - Oryol. By this time, the Soviet troops already had a significant advantage in number, and during the weekly battles Kutepov's corps was defeated, and the Eagle was liberated on October 20. White's counterattack, which led to the temporary occupation of the city of Cro-, quickly exhaled, turning into the rout of their selective forces. The simultaneous defeat of the cavalry corps of Mamontov and Shkuro from the troops of Budyonny near Voronezh finally marked the turning point during the campaign. October 24, 1919 (the liberation of Voronezh) was the beginning of the defeat of the army of Denikin. On November 15, 1919, battles for Kastornaya took place, during which the cavalry of Shkuro and Mamontov suffered a repeated defeat. November 18 Kursk was taken by Soviet troops.
Successful operations of the troops of the Southern Front, along with the growing guerrilla movement in the Left-Bank Ukraine (Makhno), set the white command challenging tasks. The situation was aggravated by the crisis of the white movement: contradictions in the Denikin-Wrangel line, the incompetence of some higher ranks (May-Mayevsky), and finally, the crisis of relations with the Ku-Kan Cossacks. All this was superimposed on the extremely unfavorable location of the Denikin troops, stretched and dispersed along the front during the autumn offensive.
On the night of December 12, 1919, units of the Red Army entered Kharkov, December 16 - in Kiev, January 2, 1920 - in Tsaritsyn, and on January 6 - in Taganrog. In early January, Rostov-on-Don came under Soviet control. For 3 months of fighting, more than 40 thousand prisoners, 750 guns, 1130 machine guns, 23 armored trains, 11 tanks, etc. were captured. (35-50 thousand people) in March to cross over to the Crimea, held by the few troops of General Ya. A. Slashchev. However, the results of the attack on the Caucasus direction in the period from February 18 to March 26, 1920 were still impressive: according to official data, more than 12 thousand officers and about 100 thousand enemy soldiers were captured. The military defeat of the troops of A. I. Denikin and A. V. Kolchak in 1919-1920. marked a decisive turning point in the course of the civil war. The defeats of General N. N. Yudenich once again underlined the overall success of the Soviet troops during the hostilities in 1919.
The first offensive of General N. N. Yudenich began on May 12, 1919, when Soviet troops were linked by battles with the White Finns who captured Olonets in late April. The main blow was struck in the Narva region by the forces of 12,000th corps of General Rodzianko and Estonian units with the support of the English squadron. On May 15, the Bulak-Balakhovich detachment occupied Gdov. On May 17, General Rodzianko captured Yamburg (now Kingisepp), while the Estonians operating in the South direction, on May 25, took Pskov. The former Semenov regiment went over to the side of Bulak-Balakhovich. The transfer of Soviet troops to the area stabilized the situation. In a short time, their number increased to 23 thousand people against 16.5 thousand from the enemy.
The anti-Soviet insurgency on the forts Krasnaya Gorka and the Gray Horse, raised on the night of June 13, re-created the crisis situation. The spread of the uprising to Kronstadt and Petrograd was prevented by mass searches and arrests in Petrograd under the leadership of the chief of staff of the internal defense of the city, a member of the Cheka, Y. X. Peters. On June 16, units of the Red Army occupied the Red Hill, and later the Gray Horse. On 21 June, the Soviet troops launched a counteroffensive on the Narva direction, on 5 August they liberated Yamburg and drove white units across the Luga River. Somewhat later, success was accompanied by Soviet troops on the Pskov sector of the front, where they liberated Pskov on August 26. At the same time, although the summer offensive of Yudenich’s troops was repulsed, Gdov and the surrounding areas remained behind him. Moreover, simultaneously with the onset of Yudenich, the Soviet units in the Baltic were to leave on May 22, with the battles, Riga and most of Latvia. The situation in the north-west remained uncertain, which was shown by the new autumn offensive of Yudenich's troops.
An unexpected blow by Yudenich on September 28 at Pskov, the direction (instead of the expected Narvskiy) led to the seizure of the Struga Belye railway station on October 4 and the erroneous regrouping of Soviet troops. On October 11, taking advantage of this, as well as numerical superiority, units of Yudenich captured Yamburg. On October 13, the Meadows fell, In the second half of October, the white troops occupied Gatchina, Krasnoe Selo, Detskoye Selo and reached the closest approaches to Petrograd. It was only in the course of the fighting on October 21 that there was a turning point that allowed parts of the Red Army to go on the counteroffensive. On October 23, Pavlovsk and Detskoe Selo were liberated, on October 26 - Krasnoe Selo, and on October 31 - Luga. During the pursuit of the enemy, the Soviet units liberated Gdov and Yamburg. In early December 1919, the North-Western Front ceased to exist
History of the Soviet Union and Russia in the 20th Century