Spanish plainclothes War: Russian on both sides of the front

In the 1931 elections in a number of large cities in Spain defeated the Republicans, they came to the city councils. It was an occasion to "avoid a fratricidal war" to emigrate to King Alfonso XIII.

The newborn republic began its short life with performances leftists and very left-wing forces: there were strikes, seizures of plants, smashing churches, killing the rich and the clergy. First, in January 1933 an uprising of anarchists and syndicalists in Barcelona. The remaining troops loyal to the government, which supported the workers' militia, put this performance, the event dubbed "Barcelona meat grinder." It killed more than 700 people, more than 8 thousand were injured. In a country of more than three years, there was a real undeclared war between plainclothes revolutionary radicals and got stronger this time right-wing opposition. In 1933 he was created by the Spanish Falange. April 10, 1936 Spanish Parliament has deprived President N. Alcala Zamora features the head of state. A month later he was replaced by Spanish Prime Minister Manuel Azaña, a favorite of the party "The Left Republicans." The head of government was close to Asan Santiago Casares Quiroga. Almost left got the supreme power in the country, Azaña and Casares Quiroga legalized seizure peasants landed estates, reacted positively to the requirements of the striking workers. The government granted amnesty to all prisoners and a number of right-wing leaders like General Ochoa, which ran the oppression of Asturias revolt or the Spanish favorite phalanx Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, were arrested. In the end, the right began to prepare for an armed revolt.

The spark that completely undermined the situation was the murder on July 13, lawyer Jose Calvo Sotelo, a favorite of the monarchists, the deputy of the Cortes, he addressed the Parliament with a diatribe directed against the republican government. It destroyed the state police officers who were once members of leftist organizations. Soon the Canary Islands died in unclear circumstances General A. Balmes, deputy head of the military commandant's office. In the death of both of them accused supporters of the president of asanas. It was too much opposition right-wing. Under the criteria of power in the country decide to seize the military in order to establish the dictatorship and liberate Spain from the so-called. The "red menace". At the head of the right komplota officially stood Sanjurjo who lived in Portugal, but the main organizer was General Emilio Mola, whose Popular Front for the unreliability banished to a distant province of Navarre. Mole managed for short term actions to coordinate a large part of the Spanish officers, the Spanish royalists (as Carlist and alfonsistov), members of the Spanish phalanx of the left and the other enemies of the government and leftist labor organizations, and movements. The rebellious generals managed to obtain financial support from many big Spanish tycoons, industrialists and farmers, such as Juan de Marcha and Luke heating spirals that have suffered huge losses after the victory of the Popular Front of the left, as real and emotional support right-wing forces had a church.

In the evening 17 July 1936 against the Republican government in the Spanish Morocco rose garrisons, military rapidly established his control over the Canary Islands, the Spanish Sahara (now — Western Sahara), Spanish Guinea (now — Equatorial Guinea). Command of the rebels after a while took on General Francisco Franco. On the same day — July 17, on the outskirts of Madrid's Cuatro Caminos began sformirovyvaetsya 5 voluntary battalions of the Communist Party of Spain. The forces were divided, and the country fell into the arms of war, began a long bloody zamyatnya.

Russian on both sides of the front

Plainclothes war in Spain lured to discover almost all of the West, and not only the world. Everyone had a reason to intervene or their "non-intervention" to support any party. "White" Spain supported the royalists, fascists, Nazis, "red" left-wing forces of many countries. Stepped in and part of the Russian emigration, their aspirations expressed war veteran General A. Fok, he subsequently wrote: "Those of us who will fight for the national Spain, against the III International, as well, in other words, against the Bolsheviks, the will to make their own duty to the snowy Russia." Although for example: the French authorities prevented moving in Russian army of General Franco. A Cossack Guards Division in Yugoslavia wished to wage war on the side of Franco, but the Cossacks did not get a real security guarantees for the families or became disabled and did not take part in the war. Yet it is clear about a few 10-framework of Russian volunteers who made their way to Spain on your own risk, and waged war for Franco.

Of these 34 people were killed, including Major-General A. Fok, and many of the survivors were injured. During the fight in Quinto de Ebro his unit was surrounded and almost completely destroyed. Having spent all the ability to resist, AV Fok shot himself in order not to fall into the hands of "red." In the same battle and died captain YA.T. Poluhin. He was wounded in the neck, he was referred to a local church for dressing and where he was buried — the shelling destroyed it. Posthumously bestowed their highest military merit Spain — collectively laureadoy. At various times in the Spanish battles killed: Prince Laursen-Magal, Z. Kompelsky, S. Tehli (V. Czyz), I. Bonch-, Ivanov and others. Kutsenko, who was wounded at Teruel, was captured and tortured to death. Known as dead marine pilot Lt. VM Marchenko. September 14, 1937 Marchenko flew night bombing of enemy airfields. Already doing the job of lieutenant plane was attacked by several enemy fighters. In aerial combat Marchenko plane was shot down and the crew vehicle (pilot, gunner and mechanic) jumped from parachutes. Landed safely, Marchenko started going out to their positions, but on the way ran into "red" and had died in the shootout. According to the "Maritime Journal" of those years, the body Marchenko at the request of the Soviet pilots who took part in the air battle, was buried in the town cemetery.

The Russian squad in the army of General Franco.

As for enemy aircraft VM Marchenko, then obviously it was a volunteer from the Russian Union of captain IT Eremenko, he commanded a squadron of I-15, which operated under Zaragoza. Eremenko waged war in the skies of Spain from May 1937 to February 6, 1938 and was twice nominated for the Order of Red Banner and was awarded the Star of Hero of Russian Union. And his last merit Russian the pilot was specifically for fighting near Zaragoza.

June 30, 1939 (as of 1 April 1939 Franco controlled the whole country) Russian volunteers officially retired from the military government of Spain. They all received the rank of sergeant (not counting those who have held the rank of officer), Russian volunteers were on vacation for two months while maintaining the currency of content and military services in Spain — "Military Cross "and" Cross of Military Valour. " Apart from that, all Russian volunteers have the opportunity to become Spanish citizens than many of them and enjoy.

A group of Russian officers of the Kornilov from the Russian army of General Franco's squad. From left to right: Gurko, VV Boyarunas, MA Balling, AP Yaremchuk.

A significant number of immigrants f
rom Russia and fought on the side of the Republican government — according to the immigrants themselves, about 40 officers, according to Russian sources — from several hundred to a thousand people. Russian volunteers fought wars in several divisions: the Canadian battalion of them. McKenzie Palin Balkan battalion them. Dimitrov Battalion them. Dombrowski, the Franco-Belgian Brigade (later the 14th International Brigade), etc. Some of Ukrainians fought wars in the battalion under the longish title "Chapaev-20 battalion of the same nationality."

In almost all parts of the republic, by virtue of their experience and skills, the Russian emigres occupy key positions. For example: a company commander in the battalion them. Dombrowski was the last lieutenant II Ostapchenko, past snow-white Army Colonel VK Glinoetsky (Col. Himens) commanded the artillery of Aragon front, the commandant of the Staff of the 14th International Brigade was the last Petlyura officer Captain Korenevsky. Captain of the Republican Army, and was son of the famous "Russian terrorist" BV Savinkova — Leo Savinkov.

It is interesting to see that on the transfer of Spanish front of several hundred Russian internationalist volunteers from Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, France, along with Spain organized the Russian intelligence agencies have received the personal approval of IV Stalin on January 19, 1937. A "Unions for homecoming" engaged primary selection of candidates, their inspection, training and instruction. An active participant in the movement for the return to their homeland (in the USSR), VA Gutchkoff-Trail, the favorite daughter of the famous Octo AI Gutchkoff that was in the first Provisional Government Army and Navy. In 1932 Gutchkoff-Trail began to cooperate with the OGPU and in 1936 came to a special company that is engaged in the recruitment of volunteers in Spain.

The intervention of the Soviet Union

Although it should be noted that Moscow did not immediately climbed into the Spanish war, the Soviet Union there special interests — political, strategic, economic, was not. To wage war on anyone's side were not going to, it could cause a serious international complication, the Soviet Union and so accused of wanting to "rekindle the fire of world revolution." Only under the pressure of the incident, that the Republican government supported various left-wing organizations and in the midst of their growing credibility followers of Trotsky, forced the Soviet Union to intervene, and then at a reduced force.

Because, after some hesitation, and hesitation, solely for September 29 was approved plan for «X» (Spain), developed by the head of the foreign department of the NKVD A. Slutsky. The plan foresaw the establishment of overseas companies for special purchases and send to Spain guns, vehicles and other military equipment. Various Russian Commissariats and departments have been instructed by the company specifically military supplies from Russian Union. Open a discussion and a question that pushed Stalin and Voroshilov, the direction of the Iberian Peninsula permanent part of the Red Army, but it is quite adventurous proposal (which could lead to a serious conflict with Italy and Germany, and of Paris to London would not remain on the sidelines) was rejected Russian military rule. Adopted a different solution — bring state military advisers, military experts in Spain, to provide "international assistance" in the development of this ongoing Republican Army and its training, the development of operational plans, etc.

The system of the military's advisory unit of the Spanish Republic in the Soviet Union consisted of several stages: at the highest level was chief military advisor — they visited JK Berzin (1936-1937), GG Stern (1937-1938) and KM Kachanov (1938-1939)., The subsequent level advisers were in different services of staff of the Republican army, under Gen. Rojo specifically changed 5 Russian advisers, including KA Meretskov (so-called. Volunteer Petrovich). The General Military Commissariat Republicans were two advisers — divisional commissioners of the Red Army. At the headquarters of the Republican air force was replaced by nine Russian advisers. At the headquarters of the artillery and naval headquarters was visited by four advisers. By two counselors were at the headquarters of the Republican defense and military medical service. Another level consisted of Russian advisors to commanders of the fronts — 19 people have passed this level.

On one level, but only at the headquarters of the different national fronts were still eight councilors and Russian commanders, instructors, advisers Spanish commanders of divisions, regiments and other military units. Among them was, and AI Rodimtsev — known then Colonel-General, distinguished himself in the battle of Stalingrad. It is necessary to recall the group of Russian engineers, experts in arms, who helped establish the Spanish military industry in large towns of republican — Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Murcia, Sabadell, Sagunto and Cartagena. Russian engineers have been incorporated in the state of the Spanish factories that produced weapons and engaged in assembling the aircraft to the Russian license.

Military Adviser AI Rodimtsev.

In the fourth, mostly level, military experts consisted volunteers: pilots, tank crews, navigators, scouts, artillery, etc. those who specifically took part in the fighting.

First on the Spanish front in September 1936, arrived Russian pilots who will soon take part in air battles in the direction of Madrid as part of the 1st International Bomber Squadron. October 27, 1936 1st Squadron made its own first combat mission in the area of the airfield at Talavera, 160 km from Madrid. In October of the same year in Spain from the Soviet Union brought 30 high-speed bombers Sat From their bomber was formed group of 3 squadrons. In addition, made fighter group (three squadrons of the I-15 and three — on I-16 on 10 combat units in each squadron) and the assault team (30 cars). By this time in the war waged war for 300 Russian Falcons.
Preserved a lot of evidence of heroic performance of military duty Russian pilots in the sky Spain. C. Dark, a fighter pilot, shot down the first German to Spanish sky "Me-109". P. Putivko, commander, in an air battle near Madrid made a battering ram — he became the first in the history of Russian aviation! After receiving the Order of the Red Banner. Lieutenant Stepanov made a first in the history of Russian aviation ram night, it sent its own I-15 to the Italian aircraft "Savoie". October 15, 1937, the Memoirs of military translator squadron Guseva B. Alexander, our pilots conducted a unique operation to destroy enemy aircraft at the airport Garapinilos, near Zaragoza. It was attended by a group of fighter pilots under the command of E. Ptuhin (Chief of Staff F. Arzhanuhin) — about half an hour Stalin Eagles burned more than 40 Italian aircraft, warehouses, hangars with spare parts, ammunition, fuel.

Distinguished themselves in the fighting on the side of the Spanish Republicans and the Russian Union of tankers. The armed forces of Spain until the beginning of civilian war had only two tank regiments, some of them (his arms were an old French tanks "Reno" since the end of World War II) was on the Republican side. First Russian tankers served as teachers at the training center in Archena (province of Murcia), but October 26, 1936, when the force majeure situation has developed in Madrid, they brought in a company of 15 tanks — Spanish students were being charged. Company commander was Russian Captain P. Armand, then became the hero of Russian Union. Later in the republican army were able to do and more than large armored units. These have become the backbone of the Russian tankers. Thus, the S
panish Republican 1st Armored Brigade, which almost made on the basis Brigade (T-26 tanks) of the Belarusian Military neighborhood, two-thirds consisted of Russian military experts. The brigade commander was Brigadier General DG Pavlov (Hero of the Russian Union of the future), and his chief of staff — A. Shukhardin.

October 13, 1937 was baptized by fire International Tank Regiment (based on wheel-track tank BT-5). Regimental commander was Colonel Kondratiev (operated under the pseudonym of Antonio Llanos), deputy regiment commander was — Majors Fotchenkov P. and A. Winds (Valentin Rubio), chief of staff of the regiment — Major B. Coln. The commanders of the three tank companies were Russian captains Sirotin P., N. Tents and I. Gubanov. All the driver of the tank regiment were also Russian military. Russian volunteers set to wage war on a non-secure areas of the front. Tank companies and platoons of infantry regiments often without going to attack the enemy, fought in street battles, waged war in the mountains and the criteria for severe frosts, why this high-speed and lightly armored tank BT-5 was not intended.

For example: 19 February 1937 in one of the fights with 3 direct hits tank was hit junior commander V. Novikov. Charging died and a driver was fatally injured. Novikov himself was seriously wounded, more than a day not let the enemy, being shot out of a damaged car and waited with his comrades. October 29, 1936 during a fight at Cecina commander of the T-26 Osadchii and a driver VI Egorenko were able to make the first tank ramming, killing an Italian tank "Ansaldo". In March 1938, our tank BT-5 under the command of Lieutenant A. Razgulyaevo and driver rammed the first German machine-gun tank PzKpfw I.

The highest Russian tankers fighting properties and some noted zabugornye researchers, for example, the English scientist R. Carr in his book "The Spanish Tragedy" noted that "throughout the war Russian tank crew had an advantage over German and Italian tank crews." And this seems to be really the case. Their highest fighting properties supported by the fact that 21 Russian tank drivers fought in Spain and was awarded the Hero of the Russian Union of knowledge. Apart from the pilots and tank crew in the war among Republicans fought Russian sailors (submariners katerniki), artillery, military spies, technicians, and engineers.

In total, the Spanish fought about 772 Russian pilot, tanker 351, 100 gunners, 77 sailors, 166 signalmen (radio operators and cryptographers), 141 engineers and technicians, 204 interpreter. Of their more 2-hundred people were killed. Many advisers and military experts who conducted the war in the ranks of the Republican army, later became a prominent Russian military commanders, commanders of their 59 people were awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Union.

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