Order White Army - Cross for steppe march 1918 Russia Kolchak Russian Denikin

Item number:37996
Item location:Poltava, Poltavskaja/Europe, Ukraine
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Steppe campaign — a campaign of the Don parts of White army in Salsk steppes in the winter-spring of 1918 (February-May). The military operation directed on preservation of shots of the future Cossack army.
After suicide of ataman Kaledin on January, 29th, 1918, in view of necessity оставления Don under the impact of Bolsheviks, the voluntary group led by the marching ataman of an army Don major general P.H.Popovym (the chief of a staff — colonel V.I.Sidorin) number of 1727 persons of fighting structure has been formed: 1110 persons of infantry, and also 617 horse at 5 tools and 39 machine guns.

Marching ataman Peter Haritonovich Popov didn't want to leave from Don and to come off native places, therefore it didn't begin to join Voluntary army for a joint campaign to Kuban. The Don Cossacks have gone to the winterings located in Salsk steppes where there was enough foodstuffs and fodder for horses. The problem of this campaign consisted in that, without interrupting struggle against Bolsheviks, to keep till the spring a healthy and efficient kernel round which the Don Cossacks could rally and take up the arms again.

The campaign has begun an exit from Novocherkassk on February, 12th (on February, 25th on new style) 1918. Has come to the end — with returning of a part of the survived participants also to Novocherkassk in the end of April − the beginning of May, 1918.

The armed struggle of the Don Cossacks against Red Army has come to the end with this campaign

The White movement (Russian: Белое движение, tr. Beloye dvizheniye), whose military arm was the White Army (Белая Армия, Belaya Armiya) aka the White Guard (Белая Гвардия, Belaya Gvardiya), and as the Whites (Белые and белогвардейцы “White Guardsmen”) comprised some of the politico-military Russian forces who unsuccessfully fought the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution and later the Red Army in the Russian Civil War (1917–23).


Structure and ideology


In the Russian context, White connoted three designations: (i) political contra-distinction to the Reds, whose revolutionary Red Army supported the Bolsheviks and Communism; (ii) historical reference to absolute monarchy, specifically united Russia's first Tsar, Ivan III (1462–1505), styled “Albus Rex” (“White King”); and (iii) sartorially, that some White Army soldiers wore the white uniforms of Imperial Russia.

The White Army was a loose confederation of counter-revolutionary forces; besides being anti-Bolshevik Russian patriots, being professional soldiers, most White Army officers had no ideology. Among White Army leaders, neither General Lavr Kornilov nor General Denikin were monarchists, yet General Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel was a monarchist willing to soldier for an elected, democratic Russian government. In the event, despite most White Army officers being monarchists, the White Army was not monarchist in purpose, despite publicly presenting itself as such; however, the White Army generally believed in a united multinational Russia, and opposed separatists wanting to create nation-states instead of the Tsarist Russian Empire. The White Army's rank-and-file comprised active anti-Bolsheviks, such as Cossacks, nobles, and peasants, as conscripts and volunteers.


Moreover, other political parties supported the anti-Bolshevik White Army, among them the democrats, the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, and others opposing Lenin's Bolshevik October Revolution; yet, according to the time and place, those White Army supporters also exchanged right-wing allegiance for allegiance with the Red Army.


Some White leaders, especially General Wrangel, formulated ideology based on Russian traditionalism, the concepts of which were assumed and developed by the White émigrés, at Civil War's end (1923), by intellectuals such as Ivan Ilyin; it philosophically resembled the Slavophiles' beliefs. That became the “White Idea”, either developed or formulated as doctrine after the civil war; most organised veterans (i.e. the Russian All-Military Union), did believe it.

Although monarchism peaked among the White Movement, liberal republicanism was rarer. The liberal policies of Alexander Kerensky and his socialist-democratic provisional government were mostly responsible for preparing Imperial Russia for the October Revolution in 1917. In August 1922, two months before being defeated, the Far Eastern White Army of General Mikhail Diterikhs convened the Zemskiy Sobor of Preamursk, and elected (without his participation) the Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaievich Romanov as Tsar of all Russia.


There also existed the independent militaries such as the Green Army and the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine aka the “Black Army” of Nestor Makhno, officially against the Communist Reds and the Monarchist Whites — although they did establish opportunistic alliances with either nemesis.

At times, the Western Allies, the Central Powers, and other foreign governments supported and armed White Army units, which allowed the Bolsheviks to accuse the White Army of anti-Russian treason, of representing the interests of foreign powers. Moreover, the White movement's anti-Semitism embarrassed its Western sponsors, given the Bolshevik's outlawing of anti-Semitism in Russia. Winston Churchill personally warned General Denikin, whose forces effected pogroms, that “my task in winning support in Parliament for the Russian Nationalist cause will be infinitely harder if well-authenticated complaints continue to be received from Jews in the zone of the Volunteer Armies“; General Denikin ignored Churchill's warnings, and the pogroms continued. 

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