Counteroffensive of Eastern Front

Last updated
Counteroffensive of Eastern Front
Part of the Russian Civil War
Counteroffensive of Eastern Front
DateApril – June, 1919
Location Ural Region, Volga Region
Result Red's victory
Flag RSFSR 1918.svg Red Army Flag of Russia.svg White Army
Commanders and leaders
Flag RSFSR 1918.svg Gaya Gai (1st Army)
Flag RSFSR 1918.svg Vasilii Shorin (2nd Army, Northern Group)
Flag RSFSR 1918.svg Mikhail Lashevich (3d Army)
Flag RSFSR 1918.svg Mikhail Frunze (4th Army, Southern Group)
Flag RSFSR 1918.svg Jan Blumberg (5th Army)
Flag of Russia.svg Alexander Kolchak
Flag of Russia.svg Radola Gajda
Flag of Russia.svg Mikhail Hanzhin
Flag of Russia.svg Alexander Dutov

The Counteroffensive of Eastern Front (April–July 1919) was an episode of the Russian Civil War.

Russian Civil War multi-party war in the former Russian Empire, November 1917-October 1922

The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war in the former Russian Empire immediately after the two Russian Revolutions of 1917, as many factions vied to determine Russia's political future. The two largest combatant groups were the Red Army, fighting for the Bolshevik form of socialism led by Vladimir Lenin, and the loosely allied forces known as the White Army, which included diverse interests favoring political monarchism, economic capitalism and alternative forms of socialism, each with democratic and antidemocratic variants. In addition, rival militant socialists and nonideological Green armies fought against both the Bolsheviks and the Whites. Eight foreign nations intervened against the Red Army, notably the former Allied military forces from the World War and the pro-German armies. The Red Army eventually defeated the White Armed Forces of South Russia in Ukraine and the army led by Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak to the east in Siberia in 1919. The remains of the White forces commanded by Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel were beaten in Crimea and evacuated in late 1920. Lesser battles of the war continued on the periphery for two more years, and minor skirmishes with the remnants of the White forces in the Far East continued well into 1923. The war ended in 1923 in the sense that Bolshevik communist control of the newly formed Soviet Union was now assured, although armed national resistance in Central Asia was not completely crushed until 1934. There were an estimated 7,000,000–12,000,000 casualties during the war, mostly civilians. The Russian Civil War has been described by some as the greatest national catastrophe that Europe had yet seen.



In 1917, the Russian Bolshevik Party staged a revolution against Alexander Kerensky's Provisional Government that led to a civil war. During the spring of 1919 the Kolchak army offensive created a strategic breakthrough in the center of The Red Army's Eastern Font, while the Reds were preparing their own offensive on the southern flank.

October Revolution Bolshevik uprising during the Russian Revolution of 1917

The October Revolution, officially known in Soviet historiography as the Great October Socialist Revolution and commonly referred to as the October Uprising, the October Coup, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Bolshevik Coup or the Red October, was a revolution in Russia led by the Bolshevik Party of Vladimir Lenin that was instrumental in the larger Russian Revolution of 1917. It took place with an armed insurrection in Petrograd on 7 November 1917.

Alexander Kerensky Russian politician

Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky was a Russian lawyer and revolutionist who was a key political figure in the Russian Revolution of 1917. After the February Revolution of 1917, he joined the newly formed Russian Provisional Government, first as Minister of Justice, then as Minister of War, and after July as the government's second Minister-Chairman. A leader of the moderate-socialist Trudovik faction of the Socialist Revolutionary Party, he was also vice-chairman of the powerful Petrograd Soviet. On 7 November, his government was overthrown by the Lenin-led Bolsheviks in the October Revolution. He spent the remainder of his life in exile, in Paris and New York City, and worked for the Hoover Institution.

Red Army 1917–1946 ground and air warfare branch of the Soviet Unions military

The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, frequently shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution. The Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; taking the official name of "Soviet Army", until its dissolution in December 1991.


At the time of the White Army offensive, the Reds had a big force on the southern flank. The White army was dispersed in several groups and the Reds attempted to crush those groups from south to north one by one. Reserves were used to rebuild the Red's 5th Army and delay the Whites' advancement in the center of the front.


At the southern flank the Whites tried to capture Orenburg without success. General Belov decided to use his reserve – IV corps – to outflank Orenburg from the north. Red commander Gaya Gai regrouped and crushed the Whites during a 3-day battle from 22–25 April and the remains of the White forces changed sides. As a result, there was no cover for the White Western Army's rear communications (commander Mikhail Hanzhin). On April, 25, the Supreme Command of the Reds' Eastern Front ordered an advance.

Orenburg City in Orenburg Oblast, Russia

Orenburg is the administrative center of Orenburg Oblast, Russia. It lies on the Ural River, 1,478 kilometers (918 mi) southeast of Moscow, on the boundary of Europe and Asia. Orenburg is also very close to the border with Kazakhstan. Population: 548,331 ; 549,361 ; 546,501 (1989 Census).

Hayk Bzhishkyan Soviet general

Hayk Bzhishkyan, was a Soviet military commander of the Russian Civil War and Polish-Soviet War.

On April, 28, the Reds crushed two divisions of the Whites in the region to the south-east of Buguruslan. While suppressing the flank of the advancing White armies, the Reds' command ordered the Southern Group ta advance to the North-West. On May, 4, the Red 5th Army captured Buguruslan, and the Whites had to quickly retreat to Bugulma. On May, 6, Mikhail Frunze (commander of Red's Southern Group) attempted to surround the White Forces, but the Whites quickly retreated to the east. On May 13, the Red 5th Army captured Bugulma without a fight.

Buguruslan Town in Orenburg Oblast, Russia

Buguruslan is a town in Orenburg Oblast, Russia. Population: 49,741 (2010 Census); 53,893 (2002 Census); 54,097 (1989 Census).

Bugulma Town in Tatarstan, Russia

Bugulma is a town in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. Population: 89,204 (2010 Census); 93,014 (2002 Census); 89,589 (1989 Census).

Mikhail Frunze Soviet general

Mikhail Vasilyevich Frunze was a Bolshevik leader during and just prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917. He was a major Red Army commander in the Russian Civil War and is best known for defeating Baron Wrangel in Crimea.

Aleksandr Samoilo (new commander of the Red's Eastern Front) took the 5th Army from the Southern Group and ordered a strike on the Northeast in retribution for their assistance to the Northern Group. The Southern Group was reinforced by two rifle divisions. The outflanked Whites had to retreat from Belebey to the east, but Samoilo didn't realize that the Whites were defeated and ordered his troops to stop. Frunze didn't agree and on May 19, Samoilo ordered his troops to pursue the enemy.

Belebey Town in Bashkortostan, Russia

Belebey is a town in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia, located on the bank of the Usen River, 180 kilometers (110 mi) from Ufa. Population: 60,188 (2010 Census); 60,928 (2002 Census); 53,443 (1989 Census)..

The Whites concentrated six infantry regiments near Ufa and decided to outflank the Reds' Turkestan Army. On May, 28, the Whites crossed the Belaya River, but were crushed on May 29. On May 30, the Red 5th Army also crossed the Belaya River and captured Birsk on June 7. Also on June 7 the Reds Southern Group crossed the Belaya River and captured Ufa on June 9. On June 16 the Whites began a general retreat in the eastern direction on the whole front.


The defeat of the Whites in the Center and South, enabled the Red Army to cross the Ural mountains. The advance of the Red Army in the Center and South forced the Whites' Northern group to retreat, because the Red armies were now able to cut its communications.


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