Introduction

Armored cars Zhorki, ("Vigilant"), Smelyi, ("Brave") and Moguchi, ("Mighty"), 2nd Armored Car Detachment, 2nd Armored Car Divizion, General Baron Peter Wrangel's Caucasian Army, Armed Forces of South Russia. All vehicles were Russian Austin third production series dispatched from Great Britain and disembarked on 25 April 1919 in the port of Novorossisk. Each flies the Russian national tricolor flag of blue, red and white and bears the Volunteer Army chevron on the armored doors in the same colors. Originally adopted by the Volunteer Army, the chevron often appeared by early February 1919 in all armies subordinate to [he Armed Forces of South Russia, commanded by General Anton Ivanovich Denikin. Vehicle names were in white below the turrets. (Deryabin)

he number of tanks, armored trains and armored cars iliat participated in Llie Russian Civil War on all fronts, including all nationalities, certainly totaled less than 1,000 and probabh not much more than 700. Insignificant by llie standards of World War II, these armored units nevertheless exerted an influence disproportionate to their actual numbers on the battlefields of what would become the most important civil war of the 20th century. Wherever terrain permitted and whenever assets were available operationally, armored units spearheaded llie major offensives, primarily along the railways that were the main arteries of advance for all combatant forces.

Gone were the static trench lines of World War I. This was a new kind of war, capitalizing on mobility and shock. Once again, cavalry emerged to threaten flanks and rear and to deliver the age-old frontal charge of the arme blanche. Soldiers hastily conscripted by one political faction, and then by another, often wavered or melted away m masse. Elite units with high morale dominated the immense landscapes of the former Russian Empire and advances were counted not in yards, but in hundreds of miles. With no firm front lines and with teat areas frequently left unsecured, partisans, nationalists and brigands, variously hewing to the political colors of Red, White, Green and Black, ravaged towns and countryside.

In this maelstrom, the new instruments of war, the armored units, flourished.

Volunteer Army

AAHfMMrffiHWMM.

0 0

Post a comment