Cossack

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Kuban Cossacks

Cossack (Kazak) is derived from the Turkish word quazak, meaning adventurer. In all, around 250,000 Cossacks fought for the Germans in World War II, about 23,000 of them as members of the XV SS Cossack Cavalry Corps (de) under Helmuth von Pannwitz (de) as foreign volunteers of the Waffen-SS.

History

Cossack soldier (corporal) and freedom fighter against the Bolshevization of Europe as a Wehrmacht volunteer in World War II

Early years

Young Cossack Badge of the XV SS Cossack Cavalry Corps

As the Russian state of Muscovy developed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, men seeking freedom, adventure, and booty, settled on the southern frontiers in the steppes of Russia; they became, much like the American pioneers of the West, an advance guard in the expansion of their country. Fiercely independent, they formed military statelets with elected chiefs (Atamans). They fought centuries of their own wars against the Poles, the Tartars, and the Turks, and acknowledged only in the loosest manner the authority of the Russian Tsars. They developed a military caste that accepted war as a way of living.

Communities

Gradually, however, in the midst of rebellions, wars, and changes of alliances, the Cossacks became part of the Russian Empire, while still maintaining a form of autonomy and self-government, with democratic principles and a kind of military socialist system wherein land was evenly apportioned to all male members of the Cossack communities. There were eleven Cossack hosts, as they were called, stretching from either side of the river Don (Don Cossacks) to the east of the Volga (Volga Cossacks), thence down to the Caucasus, across the Ural Mountains, east to the steppes of Orenburg, the forests of Siberia, and the tundras of Trans-Baikal. Each host had its traditions, its uniform, and its organisation, civil and military. The Kuban and Terek Cossacks wore a uniform modelled on the dress of the Caucasian mountaineers. Other Cossack hosts wore uniforms resembling that of the Russian soldier, except for the wide breeches with a broad coloured stripe down the side, the colour identifying the host.

Revolution in 1917

During the later stages of the Russian Revolution and subsequent Civil War, Trotsky stated "the land-owning Cossacks held out the longest of all, dreading an agrarian revolution in which the majority of them would lose."[1]

The Cossacks of the Wehrmacht

Contrary to popular legend, and despite anti-communist sentiments nourished by many Cossacks and the cracking-down on many aspects of Cossack traditions by the communist regime, the overwhelming majority of Cossacks remained loyal to the Soviet Government. That said, substantial numbers of Cossacks did fight for the Germans in World War II. On 22 August 1941, while covering the retreat of Red Army units in eastern Belarus, a Don Cossack major in the Red Army named Kononov (a graduate of Frunze Military Academy, veteran of the Winter War against Finland, a Communist Party member since 1927 and holder of the Order of the Red Banner) deserted and went over to the Germans with his entire regiment (the 436th Infantry Regiment of the 155th Soviet Infantry Division), after convincing his regiment of the necessity of overthrowing Stalinism (among the few incidences of a whole Soviet regiment going over to the Axis during World War II). He was permitted by local German commanders to establish a squadron of Cossack troopers composed of deserters and volunteers from among POWs, to be used for frontline raiding and reconnaissance missions. With encouragement from his new superior, General Schenkendorff, eight days after his defection Kononov visited a POW camp in Mogilev in eastern Belarus. The visit yielded more than 4000 volunteers in response to the promise of liberation from Stalin’s oppression with the aid of their German “allies”. However, only 500 of them (80 percent of whom were Cossacks) were actually drafted into the renegade formation. Afterwards, Kononov paid similar visits to POW camps in Bobruisk, Orsha, Smolensk, Propoisk and Gomel with similar results. The Germans appointed a Wehrmacht lieutenant named Count Rittberg to be the unit’s liaison officer, in which capacity he served for the remainder of the war.
By 19 September 1941, the Cossack regiment contained 77 officers and 1799 men (of whom 60 percent were Cossacks, mostly Don Cossacks). It received the designation 120th Don Cossack Regiment; and, on 27 January 1943, it was renamed the 600th Don Cossack Battalion, despite the fact that its numerical strength stood at about 2000 and it was scheduled to receive a further 1000 new members the following month. The new volunteers were employed in the establishment of a new special Cossack armoured unit that became known as the 17th Cossack Armoured Battalion, which after its formation was integrated into the German Third Army and was frequently employed in frontline operations. Kononov’s Cossack unit displayed a very anti-communist character. During raids behind Soviet lines, for example, it concentrated on the extermination of Stalinist commissars and the collection of their tongues as “war trophies”. On one occasion, in the vicinity of Velikyie Luki in northwestern Russia, 120 of Kononov’s infiltrators dressed in Red Army uniforms managed to penetrate Soviet lines. They subsequently captured an entire military tribunal of five judges accompanied by 21 guards, and freed 41 soldiers who were about to be executed. They also seized valuable documents in the process. Kononov’s unit also carried out a propaganda campaign by spreading pamphlets on and behind the frontline and using loudspeakers to get their message to Red Army soldiers, officers and civilians. Unfortunately for Kononov, the behaviour of the Germans in the occupied territories worked against his campaign. But Kononov’s Cossacks continued to serve their German liberators loyally, and were particularly active with Army Group South during the second half of 1942. Aside from Kononov’s unit, in April 1942, Hitler gave his official consent for the establishment of Cossack units within the Wehrmacht, and subsequently a number of such units were soon in existence. In October 1942, General Wagner permitted the creation, under strict German control, of a small autonomous Cossack district in the Kuban, where the old Cossack customs were to be reintroduced and collective farms disbanded (a rather cynical propaganda ploy to win over the hearts and souls of the region’s Cossack population). All Cossack military formations serving in the Wehrmacht were under tight control; the majority of officers in such units were not Cossacks but Germans who had no sympathy towards Cossack aspirations for self-government and freedom.
The 1942 German offensive in southern Russia yielded more Cossack recruits. In late 1942, Cossacks of a single stanitsa (Cossack settlement) in southern Russia revolted against the Soviet administration and joined the advancing Axis forces. As the latter moved forward, Cossack fugitives and rebellious mountain tribesmen of the Caucasus openly welcomed the intruders as liberators. On the lower Don River, a renegade Don Cossack leader named Sergei Pavlov proclaimed himself an ataman (Cossack chief) and took up residence in the former home of the tsarist ataman in the town of Novoczerkassk on the lower Don. He then set about establishing a local collaborationist police force composed of either Don Cossacks or men of Cossack descent. By late 1942, he headed a regional krug (Cossack assembly) which had around 200 representatives, whom he recruited from the more prominent local collaborators. He also requested permission from the Germans to create a Cossack army to be employed in the struggle against the Bolsheviks, a request that was refused. The leading figures in the Cossack movement tried to bring about the creation of a Cossack nation, but were always thwarted by Nazi policy in the East. For example, a former tsarist émigré general named Krasnov, based in Berlin, with Hitler’s blessing backed the foundation (in German-occupied Prague) of a Cossack Nationalist Party. It was made up of Cossack exiles who had fled abroad after the White defeat in the Russian Civil War. Party members swore unwavering allegiance to the Führer as “Supreme Dictator of the Cossack Nation”. Simultaneously, a Central Cossack Office was established in Berlin to manage and direct the German-sponsored party. The ultimate aim was to create a “Greater Cossackia”: a Cossack-ruled German protectorate extending from eastern Ukraine in the west to the River Samara in the east.
Though the idea of a Cossack state had no part in Nazi plans, the Germans did agree to enlarge the hitherto existing autonomous Cossack district in the Kuban and to enroll additional Cossacks into the ranks of the Wehrmacht in order to placate the progressively more dissatisfied Cossacks. By the beginning of 1943, though, the Axis was retreating following the disaster at Stalingrad and thus these plans came to nought. Due to the sudden military reverses suffered by the Germans in southern Russia, many Cossack collaborators were forced to join the retreat west in order to escape reprisals from the Soviets. In February 1943, the Germans withdrew from Novoczerkassk, taking with them Ataman Pavlov and 15,000 of his Cossack followers. He temporarily re-established his headquarters at Krivoi Rog in the spring of 1943, and shortly afterwards the Wehrmacht allowed him to create his own Cossack military formation. Numerous Don, Kuban and Terek Cossacks were called to the colours, but many turned out to be so unsuitable for combat duties that they were sent to work on local farms instead. Soon the horde of Cossack refugees was on the move again, eventually ending up at Novogrudek in western Belarus, from where five poorly equipped Cossack regiments were dispatched into the countryside to operate against Soviet and Polish partisans. By this time, much of Belarus was controlled by partisans, and the Cossacks took heavy losses with Pavlov being killed. Domanov was appointed as his immediate successor. As a result of the successful Soviet offensive in Belarus and the Baltics undertaken in the summer of 1944, codenamed Operation Bagration, the Cossack column was once again forced to retreat, this time westwards to the vicinity of Warsaw. By this period, any semblance of discipline had disappeared and the Cossacks left a trail of rape, murder and looting. From northeastern Poland they were transported across Germany to the foothills of the Italian Alps where they ended the war.
It was only when the military situation in the East had turned against them that the Germans enticed the Cossacks with promises of greater independence. For example, in mid-1943, the High Command deemed it appropriate to create a Cossack division under the leadership of Oberst Helmuth von Pannwitz. The division was formed at a recently established Cossack military camp at Mlawa in northeastern Poland from Kononov’s unit and a regiment of Cossack refugees. Following its formation, the 1st Cossack Division comprised seven regiments (two regiments of Don Cossacks, two regiments of Kuban Cossacks, one regiment of Terek Cossacks, one regiment of Siberian Cossacks and one mixed reserve regiment). As was customary, the Cossack officers were replaced by German ones, with the sole exception of the most notable Cossack commanders who retained their posts (Kononov being one of them). Nazi racial prejudices resulted in the German officers and NCOs mistreating the Cossacks, who retaliated by assaulting and even killing some of their more arrogant superiors. In September 1943, the division was transported to France to assist in the guarding of the Atlantic Wall. However, the Cossacks requested to be assigned frontline responsibilities outside France. The German High Command thus transferred the division to Yugoslavia to take part in anti-partisan operations. By the end of 1943, the Germans had retreated from the Cossack homelands in Russia. As a result, the Cossacks in German service became disillusioned, and so, in November, Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, and Chief of Staff of the OKW, Feldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel, assured the Cossacks that the German Army would retake their homelands. However, as the military situation made such promises unrealistic, arrangements were made to set up a so-called “Cossackia” outside the Cossack homelands. Eventually, the foothills of the Carnic Alps in northeastern Italy were selected for the purpose of providing the wandering Cossacks with a new home.
As Hitler’s armies advanced on Stalingrad they overran the Cossack regions of the Don, Terek and Kuban. Hundreds of thousands of Russians willingly enrolled in the German army to form a Cossack Army under the Russian General Krasnoff. Hitler promised that they would be settled in “lands and everything necessary for their livelihood in Western Europe”. Their new homeland was to be in north-east Italy in the valley of Carnia on the plain of Undine where they would live their national life free from the confines of Bolshevism. Italian families in the area were ejected from their homes which were then used to house the Cossack soldiers and their families who had arrived in fifty trains during July and August 1944. To the Cossacks this was paradise far removed from their dreary life in the Ukraine. Hitler had named this new independent state ‘Kosakenland’. Many atrocities were committed by these Russians against the Italian civilians, particularly the women, causing one Archbishop to write to Mussolini “It is terrible to think that Friuli will be governed by these illiterate savages”. Discipline was soon restored when General Krasnoff himself arrived. Cossack officers were under no delusions, they knew they were there to shed blood for the Nazi cause. With the Allied armies approaching from the south and Tito’s IX Yugoslav Corps approaching from the east, the ‘Free Republic of Carnia’ soon disintegrated and the Cossacks and their followers forced to trundle north towards Austria and internment by the British. The Germans determined that they would “annex” Italian territories into the Third Reich. Two new German regions were to be established. One was the Alpenvorland and it was to comprise the region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol and the Province of Belluno. The other was Adriatisches Kustenland and it was to comprise Istria, Quarnero, and most of today’s region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. In the valley of Carnia, anti-Communist forces from the Soviet Union under the command of ataman Timofey Ivanovich Domanov were used; they were promised the establishment of a Cossack republic in Northeastern Italy, to be called Kosakenland.
The Germans had a major security problem in occupied Italy although operations against partisans were not conducted by Kesselring’s formations but fell to a separate command under SS General Karl Wolff. This command deployed the equivalent of ten divisions and personnel included Italian fascists, Cossacks, Slovaks and even some Spaniards as well as Germans. Wolff’s men fought a bitter and vicious campaign against Italian partisans and committed many atrocities against civilians. One of the forgotten stories of the Second World War is that of Italian resistance to the German occupation: Italians resisted to a much greater level, and to more effect, than did the French whose story is much better known. In March 1944, an organizational/administrative committee was appointed for the purpose of synchronizing the activities of all Cossack formations under the Third Reich’s jurisdiction. This “Directorate of Cossack Forces” included Naumenko, Pavlov (soon replaced by Domanov) and Colonel Kulakov of von Pannwitz’s Cossack Division. Krasnov was nominated as the Chief Director, who would assume the responsibilities of representing Cossack interests to the German High Command. In June 1944, Pannwitz’s 1st Cossack Division was elevated to the status of a corps and became XV Cossack Corps, with a strength of 21,000 men. In July, the corps was formally incorporated into the Waffen-SS, which allowed it to receive better supplies of weapons and other equipment, as well as to bypass notoriously uncooperative local police and civil authorities. Interestingly, the Cossacks retained their uniforms and German Army officers.
The granting of SS status to the Cossack corps was part of Himmler’s scheme to limit the Wehrmacht’s influence over foreign formations. The Reichsführer-SS was quite happy to accept Cossacks into the SS, as Alfred Rosenberg’s ministry came up with the theory that the Cossack was not a Slav but a Germanic descended from the Ostrogoths. A replacement/training division of 15,000 men was also formed at Mochowo, southwest of Mlawa. The corps fought in Yugoslavia; and at the end of the war, 50,000 strong, retreated to Austria to surrender to the British. In all, around 250,000 Cossacks fought for the Germans in World War II. The Germans used them to fight Soviet partisans, to undertake general rear-area duties for their armies, and occasionally for frontline combat. But they were held in scant regard by most German Army commanders.[2]

The Massacre of Cossacks at Lienz

Betrayal of the Cossacks at Lienz

In one of the most horrific incidents, the British handed over some 18,000 Cossack peoples to Soviet authorities at the Judenburg collection point in Austria in the summer of 1945. The tragedy has been called the “Betrayal of the Cossacks” and the “Massacre of Cossacks at Lienz.” Faced with overwhelming numbers to send back, the British resorted to subterfuge, then brute force. Roughly 50,000 Cossacks had ended up in Austria in May 1945, some of them tribes that had fought against the Soviets with the Germans and, with their families, retreated westward as the Third Reich collapsed. With the war ending, they now had nowhere to go. British army units intercepted many of the Cossacks near Lienz and interned them, cramming them into a canyon on the banks of the Drave River. The Cossacks surrendered without a fight. The British fed them and led them to believe they would be protected from undue retribution inflicted by the Soviet Army advancing well into Austria, only a few miles to the east. The Cossacks believed the promise. They dared feel something like comfort, like safety. In late May the British, still pledging protection, disarmed the Cossacks’ couple thousand officers and generals and trucked them to the town of Judenburg, just over the Soviet lines. There the British handed them over. Many of the older officers had emigrated years before — during the Russian Civil War — and were not even Soviet citizens, so they were technically exempt. But the British did it anyway — to appease their wartime ally, “Uncle Joe” Stalin.

As already known, the Cossack Corps of General Domanov, consist ing of about 28,000 persons, including women and children, on leaving Italian territory in early May 1945, crossed over the mountain pass into Austria and set up camp in the valley of the river Drau. The Staff of the Cossacks and a part of the administrative units were billeted within the city limits of the town of Lienz. The Cossack regiments (disarmed) camped on adjoining territory in tents, while the noncombatants, the aged, the women and children, found quarters in the camp Peggetz, about two miles outside the city. The attitude of the British authorities towards the Cossacks was quite beyond reproach and even benevolent up to May 26th, and there was nothing to indicate the impending catastrophe. However, on that particular day two events took place which foreshadowed the imminent tragedy. Namely, a British truck pulled up before the Cossacks' Bank, and the soldiers, referring to orders from their superiors, demanded the keys to the strongboxes, locked them up, and, loading them on the truck, drove away to an unknown destination. The protest of the Director of the Bank, and his remonstration that the strongboxes contained but personal savings of the Cossacks, had no effect. According to the declaration of the Bank Director, those strongboxes had contained at that time about 6 million German Marks, and about as much in Italian Lire, all of which had been personal money of the Cossacks. On the same day, a British officer came to the hotel where General Shkuro and four of his officers had been billeted, and ordered them to pack their belongings so as to move to other billets. When asked, "Which other billets," he answered, "Where your Staff will be." Later on it became known that General Shkuro and his officers had been moved to Spittal camp and kept there behind barbed wire. It is important to note that simultaneously a British order had been read, according to which all Cossacks were to receive increased rations and, in fact, were to receive full British rations, which fact had considerably lulled any suspicions there might have been among the Cossacks, and had made it easier for the British to carry out their intentions. The pleasure of receiving increased rations lasted but a short while. The next day, May 27th, at about 10:00 A.M., the British ordered all officers to turn in their pistols which, so far, they had been permitted to keep. Scarcely anybody guessed the actual purpose of this disarmament. There were but a few who anticipated instinctively, or rather, subconsciously, something mysterious and evil taking place. On the morning of May 28th all officers, military officials, and medics were ordered to report at 1:00 P.M. to the square before the Staff billets, to be moved in trucks according to directives from the British General. The Town Commander of Lienz, the British Major Davis, declared that the luggage should not be taken, as everybody was supposed to be back in three or four hours. This declaration was taken at its face value, nearly all had reported and were driven away. But, actually, as soon as the truck convoy, carrying over 2,000 officers and officials, headed by General Krasnov, got under way, it was surrounded by British tanks and escorted to its destination. Guarded in this manner, everybody was brought into Spittal camp, which was surrounded by several stockades of barbed wire, and was strongly patrolled by the British. Twenty-four hours later, all these unfortunate prisoners were transported into the Soviet Zone and were handed over to the Soviets. Only five persons were able to escape by a miracle. Numerous camp inmates had committed suicide, numerous others were killed by the guards while attempting an escape, while some had been executed on the way to the Soviet Zone, and it is unknown to this day exactly how many reached the Soviet Union.
In the evening of May 29th, British trucks equipped with loud speakers drove up to the tent camp Peggetz, where the Cossack regiments were camping, and announced that everybody had to get ready to be voluntarily repatriated into the Soviet Union. The British repeated this announcement on May 30th and May 31st. Everywhere the unanimous reaction of the Cossacks had been to refuse, and to emphasize their protest they declared a hunger strike and hoisted black banners. When British supply trucks rolled up as usual to certain distribution points, there was nobody to accept the rations and, having dumped the food on the ground, they drove away. No Cossack touched that food. On the morning of June 1st the Cossacks of the Peggetz camp had decided to unite in prayer to God, maybe for the last time. For this purpose an altar was erected on the camp square and a crowd of thousands of aged, of women and children, gathered around. Cadets, as if to protect them, formed an outer ring, holding hands. Black banners were flying from every barrack. This picture was deeply moving and awesome at the same time. No human nerves could have endured to watch this multitude kneeling, intensely praying, and bitterly weeping. It was during this Liturgy that the British surrounded the camp area on three sides with tanks and soldiers armed with machine guns. The fourth side remained free: there was the deep and swift Drau river forming a natural barrier. Together with the tanks there appeared trucks and, about 150 to 200 yards away, on the railroad there pulled up a long train of freight cars, waiting for the victims, the Cossacks. The British waited awhile. Then, seeing that the people did not discontinue their prayers, they fired a volley into the air, charging at the same time into the defenseless people who had sat down on the ground, embracing one another, and refusing to board the trucks. Now there began a beastly, brutal, and inhuman bloodshed, a massacre of innocent human beings. They hit them with gunbutts, causing an indescribable panic. Soul-piercing screams filled the air. In this inconceivable cataclysm many were trampled to death, mainly children. Whoever was able to do so put up a desperate defense as long as he had any strength left. It was only the unconscious, many of them with broken limbs, whom the British were able to grab and dump like logs on their trucks filled with bodies. When already on the trucks, some Cossacks, regaining consciousness, had jumped off. They were beaten until they fainted and were thrown on the trucks again. The cadets put up the fiercest resistance. They defended not only themselves, but did everything humanly possible to aid the women, the children, and the aged to escape imprisonment, repatriation, and their eventual doom in the USSR. Numerous Cossacks and their wives committed suicide on that day, preferring death rather then deportation to a barbarous country which had once been Russia, our Fatherland. Semiconscious, blood-soaked, and heavily wounded - that is how they filled the death train. For unknown reasons the "Honorable Authority" had decided to give a respite, and the next voluntary transport "home" with respective victims was scheduled to take place on June 3rd. This respite saved the lives of many Cossacks and their wives.
During the night from June 1st to June 2nd there began the second act of the Cossacks' tragedy: the local population began to ransack the possessions of the Cossacks. Like black ravens who gather at the smell of fresh blood, the Austrians now looted the property of the Cossacks by the carload. During these very days, and with equal procedures, the 15th Cossack Corps, consisting of 18,000 men, had been handed over to the Soviets near the town of Judenburg. Of this multitude there survived only 10 officers and 50 to 60 Cossacks who had broken the guards' cordon by using hand grenades, and who saved themselves by hiding in the nearby woods. That is how, on May 29th, June 1st, and June 3rd, 1945, 45,000 Russians had been handed over to suffer violent retaliation, by close cooperation on the part of those governments of foreign powers, for whose integrity and interests the Russian Nation had shed its blood and had won victories in World War I. At present the Peggetz camp is abandoned and has disappeared. Only in one of its comers there are, even now, as a momento of the Cossacks' tragedy, some forgotten graves of victims, with small, weather beaten crosses. A future historian will pass an unbiased verdict on this bitter tragedy, a verdict on those representatives of "Proud Albion" who have disgraced the ruler of the seas in the past, and who are not worthy to call themselves contemporaries of civilized mankind. Losses in personnel as great as had been suffered by these two units, namely that of General Domanov and the 15th Cossack Corps, in the course of a couple of days, in conditions of a finished war, have no precedent in Russian military history. Within these units there had been representatives of the Don Cossacks, and they had formed the main cadres. However, there had been also Cossacks and their wives from other Cossack armies. Within the 15th Cossack Corps there had been a number of compatriots who were not Cossacks. Among the slain were heroic warriors of the former Army of the Russian Empire during World War I, and the leaders of the White Cossacks in the years of the Civil War: General Ataman P.N. Krasnov, the Generals Shkuro and Prince Sultan-Girei-Klytch, and others. In the capacity of the acting Don Ataman, I believe it to be my direct duty to remind the Cossacks of this monstrous catastrophe, and of its victim, the distinguished Don Ataman and White leader, Cavalry General Peter Nikolaevich Krasnov.[3]

As in Lienz, many of the repatriated were tricked into going or outright lied to. When that didn’t work, they were forced at gunpoint. The bloody sellout was already set in motion by the Unconditional Surrender of May 1945, when the so-called Soviet Repatriation Commissions were roaming Western Europe operated by agents of the NKVD and SMERSH. Sometimes the Soviet officials promised those returning that Stalin would give them amnesty, appealing to a yearning to reunite with family and loved ones. Yet after hearing the grim rumors to the contrary, many knew what would happen once Stalin's agents got to them — they would land in a Gulag, if they were lucky.[4][5]

Some Cossack leaders

  • Grigorii Semenov, from the Transbaikal region. Captain in the Russian Army during The Great War, Later formed detachments in the Transbaikalia to fight the Reds and was for a time supported in this by the Japanese. Later emigrated to Harbin, in Manchuria, & China.[6]
  • General V. E. Flug, commanded an army corps in the World War on the SW Front, and previously served in the Russo-Japanese war when he was appointed "Nakaznoi" Ataman of the Ussuri Cossacks.[7]
  • Ivan Kalnykov, although not a Cossack, joined the Ussuri Cossack Army, proclaiming himself Ataman in 1918 in Siberia. Cherished the independence of Cossack units.[8]
  • Captain Katanaev, son of Cossack General Katanaev, was one of the principals in the overthrow of the Revolutionary Directorate in favour of Admiral Kolchak.[9]
  • Krasilnikov, I.N., a Siberian Cossack Ataman, famous for his raids against the Reds. Died in Irkutsk from typhus shortly before the final victory of the Reds in 1920.[10]
  • Aleksandr Ilich Dutov, Colonel of the General Staff and Ataman of the Orenburg Cossacks; President of the Union of Cossack Voiskos and of the All-Russia Cossack Congress of June 1917. After the Bolshevik revolution he headed the counter-revolutionary movement of the Orenburg Cossacks under Kolchak. Killed in China in 1921.[11]
  • Mikhail Vasilevich Khanzhin, General and artillery officer of Orenburg Cossack origin, who served in the World War. He was Kolchak's last Minister of War and one of the last three members of that government at Irkutsk who continued actovely in its defence. Fate unknown.[12]

See also

Further reading

  • Wrangel, Alexis, General Wrangel (de) - Russia's White Crusader, London, 1987, p.42. ISBN: 0-85052-8909

References

  1. Kerensky, Alexander, The Crucifixion of Liberty, London, 1934, p.274.
  2. The Cossacks of the Wehrmacht, Weapons and Warfare, 2019
  3. The Massacre of Cossacks at Lienz
  4. Appeasing Stalin: Forced Repatriation After WWII
  5. An End of Honor- A Story of Betrayal
  6. Varneck, Elena, and H.H.Fisher, editors, The Testimony of Kolchak and other Siberian Materials, Stanford University Press, California, and Oxford University Press UK, 1935, p.231.
  7. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.235.
  8. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.233.
  9. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.250.
  10. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.250.
  11. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.256.
  12. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.259.