Spring Offensive of the Russian Army (1919)

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Spring Offensive of the Russian Army
Part of the Russian Civil War
CampanaDePrimaveraDeKolchak1919.svg
Map of the Spring Offensive of the Russian Army
DateMarch 4 – April 1919
Location
Result White victory
Belligerents
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)
Flag RSFSR 1918.svg M.Lashevich (3d Army)
Flag RSFSR 1918.svg Mikhail Frunze (4th Army)
Flag RSFSR 1918.svg Jan Blumberg (5th Army)
Flag RSFSR 1918.svg Georgy Zinoviev
Flag of Russia.svg Alexander Kolchak
Flag of Russia.svg Radola Gajda [ citation needed ]
Flag of Russia.svg Mikhail Hanzhin
Flag of Russia.svg Alexander Dutov
Strength
111,000 men
379 guns
113,000 men
more than 200 guns

The Spring Offensive of the Russian Army was an offensive of the Siberian Army of the White movement led by Alexander Kolchak on the Eastern Front of the Russian Civil War between March and April 1919.

Siberian Army

The Siberian Army was an anti-Bolshevik army during the Russian Civil War, which fought from June 1918 – July 1919 in Siberia – Ural Region.

White movement anti-Bolshevik movement

The White movement and its military arm the White Army, also known as the White Guard, the White Guardsmen or simply the Whites, was a loose confederation of anti-communist forces that fought the Communist Bolsheviks, also known as the Reds, in the Russian Civil War (1917–1922/1923) and to a lesser extent continued operating as militarized associations insurrectionists both outside and within Russian borders in Siberia until roughly World War II (1939–1945).

Alexander Kolchak Russian military officer

Alexander Vasilyevich Kolchak KB was an Imperial Russian admiral, military leader and polar explorer who served in the Imperial Russian Navy, who fought in the Russo-Japanese War and the First World War. During the Russian Civil War, he established an anti-communist government in Siberia—later the Provisional All-Russian Government—and was recognised as the "Supreme Leader and Commander-in-Chief of All Russian Land and Sea Forces" by the other leaders of the White movement from 1918 to 1920. His government was based in Omsk, in southwestern Siberia.

Contents

Background

At the end of the year 1918, the situation on the Eastern Front of the Russian Civil War was unclear. Both sides fought for the Kama river. The Supreme Command of the Red Army prepared for major offensives on the Southern and Western fronts, hence there were no supplies for the Eastern front. At the end of December Whites conquered Perm on the northern flank, but Reds captured Ufa on the southern flank. On 22 January 1919 the Red 1st Army connected with the Army of the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, which had advanced from Middle Asia. On 24 January the Red 4th Army captured Uralsk.

Eastern Front of the Russian Civil War

The Russian Civil War spread to the east in May 1918, with a series of revolts along the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway, on the part of the Czechoslovak Legion and officers of the Russian Army. Provisional anti-Bolshevik local governments were formed in many parts of Siberia and other eastern regions during that summer. The Red Army mounted a counter-offensive in the autumn, and in 1919 defeated the White commander Aleksandr Kolchak in Siberia. Smaller-scale conflicts in the region went on until 1923.

The Perm Operation was a military operation during the Russian Civil War.

Ufa City in Bashkortostan, Russia

Ufa is the capital city of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia, and the industrial, economic, scientific and cultural center of the republic. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 1,062,319, making it the eleventh most populous city in Russia.

At the beginning of 1919, the Supreme Command of the White Army decided to advance in two directions. The purpose of the northern advance was to connect with the North Russia Front and to strike on Petrograd; the purpose of the southern advance was to crush the Red front on the middle Volga river and to advance to Moscow.

North Russia Intervention part of the Allied Intervention in Russia after the October Revolution

The North Russia Intervention, also known as the Northern Russian Expedition, the Archangel Campaign, and the Murman Deployment, was part of the Allied Intervention in Russia after the October Revolution. The intervention brought about the involvement of foreign troops in the Russian Civil War on the side of the White movement. While the movement was ultimately defeated, the Allied forces fought notable ending defensive actions against the Bolsheviks in the battles of Bolshie Ozerki, allowing them to withdraw from Russia in good order. The campaign lasted from 1918, during the final months of World War I, to 1920.

Moscow Federal city in Central, Russia

Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities.

The Whites had three armies : [1]

The Orenburg Independent Army was an anti-Bolshevik Army on the Eastern Front during the Russian Civil War.

Alexander Dutov Russian general

Alexander Ilyich Dutov (1879—1921), one of the leaders of the Cossack counterrevolution in the Urals, Lieutenant General (1919).

The Western Separate Army was an anti-Bolshevik Army on the Eastern Front during the Russian Civil War, which fought from January 1919 – July 1919 in the Siberia – Ural Region.

The Reds had 3 armies in the south : [1]

The 4th Army was a field army of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War, which was formed 4 times between the beginning of March 1918 and March 1921.

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.

The Turkestan Army was a field army of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War which existed between March 5 and June 15, 1919.

and 3 armies to the north of them :

The 5th Army was a field army of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. The 5th Army was formed four times. The first formation was between the beginning of March 1918 and April as a reaction to the Austro-German occupation of Ukraine. The second formation was created between April 1918 and 23 June 1918 to defend Tsaritsyn, the third formation between August 16, 1918 and September 6, 1922, as a part of the Eastern Front and the fourth formation between November 16, 1922 and June 1924 in the Far East.

The 2nd Army was a field army of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. The 2nd Army was formed twice. The first formation was between the beginning of March 1918 and April as a reaction to the Austro-German occupation of Ukraine. The second formation was created on June 18, 1918, as a part of the Eastern Front. The Army was disbanded on July 16, 1919.

The 3rd Army was a field army of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. The 3rd Army was formed three times.

Therefore, on the northern flank both sides were equal, the Whites prevailed in the center (49,000 men of Hanzhin against 10,000 men of the Red's 5th Army) but the Reds had an advantage on the southern flank (52,000 men of the Reds against 19,000 men of the Whites). Both sides decided to strike on the right flank (the Whites on the right flank and in the center) and to cut the communication lines of the opponent's left flank. At the end of February, the Whites pushed back the left flank of the Red's 2nd Army, forcing it to retreat.

Offensive

On 4 March, the Siberian Army of the Whites began its advance. On 8 March it captured Okhansk and Osa and continued its advanceg to the Kama river. On 10 April they captured Sarapul and closed in on Glazov [1] . On 15 April soldiers of Siberian Army's right flank made contact with detachments of the Northern Front in a sparsely populated area near the Pechora River.

On 6 March Hanzhin's Western Army stroke between the Red 5th and 2nd Armies. After four days of fighting the Red 5th Army was crushed, its remains retreated onto Simbirsk and Samara. Reds had no forces to cover Chistopol with its bread storages. It was a strategical breakthrough, the commanders of Red's 5th Army fled from Ufa and the White Western Army captured Ufa without a fight on 16 March. On 6 April they took Sterlitamak, Belebey the next day and Bugulma on 10 April. [1]

In the South, Dutov's Orenburg Cossacks conquered Orsk on 9 April and advanced towards Orenburg. [1] .

After receiving information about the defeat of the 5th Army, Mikhail Frunze, who had become commander of the Red Southern Army Group, decided not to advance, but to defend its positions and wait for reinforcements. As a result the Red Army was able to stop the White advanceg on the southern flank and to prepare its counteroffensive.

Aftermath

The White Army had made a strategical breakthrough in the center, but the Red Army had been able to prepare its counteroffensive on the southern flank.
On April 22, Mikhail Frunze launched his successful Counteroffensive of the Eastern Front against the over-extended Western Army. [1]


Sources

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Smele, Jonathan (2017). The "Russian" Civil Wars, 1916–1926. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 110-114.