Alexander Vasilyevich Kolchak was born on November 4, 1874, died on February 7, 1920. This is a Russian politician, Vice Admiral of the Russian Imperial Navy.
Kolchak also became famous as a polar explorer and oceanographer. He headed the white movement in the East of Russia, was proclaimed the Supreme Ruler of Russia in 1918, the actual leader of the entire white movement.
Kolchak's personality is very interesting and ambiguous, but the film "Admiral", released on the screens, gave rise to an unprecedented interest in Kolchak, giving him tragic features.
Films tend to exaggerate, but we will try to debunk some myths about Admiral Kolchak with the help of historical facts. Some of them gave birth to cinema, and some - a communist view of the events of the early 20th century.
Kolchak actually had the "inflated" glory of a naval commander and polar explorer. In terms of the time of occurrence, this myth is one of the most recent, I really want someone to discredit the figure of the admiral. Allegedly, Kolchak betrayed Baron Toll, and appropriated all his discoveries. However, Toll himself spoke of Kolchak as "the best officer of the expedition, lovingly devoted to his hydrology." One of the islands near Taimyr was even named after the future naval commander, to which the name of Kolchak was returned by the decision of the Russian government in 2005. The replacement during the First World War of the passive Admiral Eberhard Kolchak as commander of the Black Sea Fleet noticeably intensified the actions of the sailors. Kolchak mined the Bosphorus, which led to the undermining of the German battleship Goeben and six enemy submarines. Contemporaries believe that if the revolution had not happened, the Russian flag would soon fly over the Bosphorus. An aviation detachment began to form in the fleet, a landing was being prepared for Turkey. The activities of Kolchak as one of the initiators of the modernization of the fleet after the Russo-Japanese War were highly appreciated in their memoirs by Admiral Tsyvinsky, State Duma deputy Savich. Even the Germans noted that with the arrival of Kolchak, the activities of their fleet in the Black Sea practically stopped. Positive tendencies were broken by the revolution and the departure of the commander.
Kolchak was an agent of the Entente and, in fact, a puppet in their hands. The Bolsheviks trumpeted about this even during the Civil War. Today, through the efforts of the "prospectors", confirmation of the admiral's recruitment even before the Revolution by British intelligence is found. Only now I could not see a single document on this matter. Initially, the governments of England and France decided that it was their representative, General Janin, who should be the commander-in-chief of the forces, both Russian and allies. However, Kolchak was outraged by this approach, he refused to recognize it, threatening to refuse foreign aid. The negotiations led to the fact that Kolchak remained the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian troops, while Zhanen was appointed commander-in-chief of the allied forces. These detachments, being small and weak, were mainly in the rear. The Japanese and Americans in the Far East were independent from Janen, also not participating in the war. Yes, intervention was not a decisive factor in the Civil War. This was proved by Soviet historians in the 1930s, whose works were hidden from the public for a long time. Siberian newspapers of that time were perplexed about the inaction of the allies. A striking example of Kolchak's independence is the fact that he refused to transfer the gold reserve under the protection of the allies, saying that he prefers to give it to the Bolsheviks rather than letting it go abroad. In the fall of 1919, additional white troops were brought into Vladivostok to avoid an uprising. This angered the allies. Kolchak immediately demanded that the commander of the Amur Military District leave the troops, and inform the allied command that Vladivostok is a Russian fortress and the troops there were repaired to him. The admiral's firm position brought results, the incident was hushed up.
Kolchak's coup was generally organized by the British. This myth seems to complement the previous one, being generated by Soviet propaganda. However, there are no supporting documents about this. The role of the British was deliberately increased by General Janin, in an attempt to shift the responsibility for the failure of the campaign onto them. It is only known for certain that the officers of the British mission knew about the impending coup, guaranteeing their own non-intervention. Everything else is speculation. Kolchak really had an undisguised mutual sympathy with the British. But the British, too, worked more closely with the admiral and helped him. But that was after the coup. The phrase of General Knox is often exploited: "there is no doubt that he is the best Russian for the implementation of our goals in the Far East." But this is a clear simplification of reality. The British closely studied the situation in the country, trying to find out how to fight Bolshevism, Kolchak also studied what kind of help can be obtained from England. London itself was caught off guard by the news of the coup, causing panic. In response to rumors about the participation of one of the officers, an official investigation was carried out, which cleared the Englishman of suspicion.
Kolchak was a cocaine addict. The communists loved to savor this myth. Only here are no facts, except for the frank slander of Zhanin. Considering the "warm" attitude of the Frenchman to the general and the desire to justify his betrayal, is it worth believing him and commenting on groundless rumors?
Kolchak did not adhere to monarchist views, but was rather a "Februaryist". In Soviet propaganda, the leaders of the white movement almost until the end of the 80s were presented as monarchists, recently they were accused of organizing the February Revolution and the subsequent collapse of the state. Consequently, it is the Bolsheviks that should be considered the real saviors of the country. If we accept that during the abdication of Nicholas, generals Alekseev, Ruzsky, Brusilov and others, who in particular sent telegrams, had some influence on him, then Kolchak is the only one from the high command who did not send any telegrams. Assessing the activities of Kerensky, Kolchak harshly called it "insignificant buffoonery", while Kolchak even credited the dispersal of the Constituent Assembly to the Bolsheviks. Moreover, Kolchak even canceled the celebration of the February Revolution, rallies, demonstrations in this honor, since they believed that it was too early to sum up the results of the revolution, which turned into a coup of the Bolsheviks. Kolchak reasonably believed that society was not ready for the revelry of democracy that was proposed by numerous parties. The electoral activity was low, while the deputies were engaged entirely in politicking, and not solving problems.
Kolchak was untenable as a politician and ruler, relying on dreams. First of all, it is worth noting that Kolchak's main goal was the complete destruction of the Bolsheviks in Russia, while democracy itself was alien to the admiral. This was due to the events of 1917, when the deplorable activities of the interim government led to subsequent events. Kolchak's economic activities were quite sound. So, in December 1918, he abolished state regulation of prices for basic products. Then they went up, but the deficit disappeared. To coordinate the government on supply and finance issues, a special Economic Conference was created, chaired by Kolchak himself. Representatives of industry, trade and banks were invited to this institution. The meeting had the right to report on the situation directly to Kolchak, bypassing the prime minister. In Siberia, a course was conducted that encouraged entrepreneurship and the banking system, and even the Commercial and Industrial Bank of Siberia was founded. Those enterprises that were nationalized by the Bolsheviks returned to their former owners. Strategic enterprises could be bought out by the state. Small business initiatives were encouraged, including among the peasantry. The population bought bonds, lending began to work again. Communication routes also developed, but not only railways. So, the Northern Sea Route was mastered. Kolchak's plans were research expeditions and the construction of a port at the mouth of the Yenisei. By the spring of 1919, the rye of railway transport had been adjusted, theft and abuse disappeared, trains began to arrive on schedule. The stencil, according to which Kolchak defended the landowners and capitalists, is wrong, the admiral wrote many times that the land issue is extremely difficult, in such conditions it is necessary to defend the actual transfer of land into the hands of the peasants. Kolchak wrote to the allied governments: "Only then will Russia be flourishing and strong, when our multimillion peasantry will be fully provided with land." Under the admiral, agricultural machines were ordered in the United States in order to mechanize backward agriculture.
Kolchak disdained the workers, intensively exploiting them. On the contrary, taking into account their interests in the government, a place was given to the Menshevik Shumilovsky, who knew this environment and its problems well. Health insurance funds and labor exchanges were restored, and benefits improved. At the same time, the government also had to overcome the resistance of entrepreneurs who did not want to put up with indulgences in relation to workers. Trade unions have also survived. The consequence of this attitude was that the workers of the Izhevsk and Votkinsk plants formed the core of the two divisions that fought against the Reds with particular fury. The bulk of the Ural workers had a negative attitude towards the Bolsheviks, as evidenced by the numerous greetings of the workers to Kolchak, the desire to help him.
Kolchak instilled new traditions in every possible way. The continuity of traditions by Kolchak is evidenced by the fact that some symbols of Russia were nevertheless preserved, while the Bolsheviks, for example, created a new state, completely and fundamentally abandoning everything old. The famous patriotic song "Kol is Slavonic" became the anthem, the double-headed eagle remained the emblem, but the monarchical signs (scepter and crown) were removed. A sword took the place of the scepter. The tricolor white-blue-red flag was also unambiguously adopted. The old order system remained, retaining its merits. But new awards were also approved - "For the liberation of Siberia" and "For the Great Siberian campaign". In general, the old hierarchy of officials has not changed either.
Kolchak was a bankrupt land military administrator. It is difficult to dispute the thesis of the admiral's dialetanism in matters of the land army, nevertheless, positive aspects should be noted in the organization of the army itself. Thus, the admiral banned political activities in the army that undermine the foundations of the state and corrupt the troops. For the purpose of moral education of soldiers and the rise of patriotism, departments for the education and training of soldiers were established in the garrisons. The families of the volunteers, as well as widows and orphans, received benefits. Taking into account the changed psychology of the people after the revolution, cases of non-statutory arbitrariness and assault, which were in the tsarist army, were suppressed in the troops. In general, increased attention was paid to the army, nevertheless, the Kolchak was military: "Now we are reviving Russia. The state cannot exist without the army. But in the renewed Russia the army must also be built on new foundations."
Kolchak instilled the "White Terror". This myth was dispelled by Lenin: "It is rather unwise to blame Kolchak for the fact that he was violent against the workers ... This is a vulgar defense of democracy, these are stupid accusations of Kolchak. Kolchak acts in the ways that he finds." In general, the Civil War itself was provoked precisely by the Bolsheviks. Kolchak's regime was a classic military dictatorship. All military and civilian power was in the hands of the admiral. The White Terror manifested itself in spontaneous arbitrariness in the localities, while the terror was selective in nature, while the Reds killed completely by whole social groups (decossackization), tens of thousands. Terror became part of the Bolshevik government. Lenin and Dzerzhinsky personally gave orders for the taking of innocent hostages and their executions. But Kolchak and Denikin did not have such orders. Even the Bolsheviks themselves called Kolchak for his softness "a margarine dictator." Whites also discouraged the anonymous denunciations that were so widespread during the Soviet era. Of course, in the atmosphere of war, it was impossible to do without tough measures - Kolchak's order is known in which persons who voluntarily served on the side of the Reds should have been shot, and not taken prisoner. Realizing that counterintelligence cannot solve the entire range of tasks, Kolchak was the first of the White Guards to start reviving the political police. One of the tasks of which was the suppression of abuse.
Kolchak was never rehabilitated for mass shootings and executions in our years. The issue of the admiral's legal rehabilitation arose in the mid-90s of the last century. On January 26, 1999, the military court of the Trans-Baikal District declared Kolchak not subject to rehabilitation. The lawyers considered that the admiral could stop the terror carried out by counterintelligence against the civilian population. In September 2001, the Supreme Court decided not to appeal against this decision, however, the Constitutional Court ruled that violations were committed during the consideration of the case, in 2004 the decision to close the rehabilitation case was canceled. Today there are debates over whether it is necessary to stir up the past, and whether Kolchak is worthy of rehabilitation. The question is absolutely not closed.
Under Kolchak, the rear was completely decomposed. Under Kolchak, order was restored in the rear. So, persons who rented out housing paid a tax, cabbies were fined if they took more than the prescribed rate. E was allowed to use company cars for personal purposes. High-ranking officials, including police officers, were arrested for fraud and theft. For large-scale smuggling and theft, there were also executions. The chief of military communications, General Kasatkin, was convicted of covering up corruption and sentenced to six months' imprisonment in the fortress. As you can see, we would like to see much of what Kolchak only began to realize then today.
Kolchak's regime was anti-popular. And power was supposedly held solely with the help of the interventionists. The east of the country generally had a great social support, there were more prosperous peasants who were not threatened by the return of the landowners. The industry was undeveloped, and the Bolsheviks traditionally had weak positions there. Peasant uprisings seized the rear of Kolchak already during his retreat, this was caused by war fatigue. But after the Bolsheviks came to power, it turned out that the new government was much worse. This led to the massive uprisings of 1920-1920, which were much stronger and more desperate. Special attention was paid by the admiral to the Cossacks, who were a reliable social support. Cossacks were guaranteed the inviolability of everyday life and way of life. Kolchak understood the need to establish contacts with the broad masses. The admiral often went to meetings with workers and peasants, personally walked around the shops and got acquainted with the production. The problem of the ruler was that he still focused on military affairs, and social events, like political ones, did not touch on fundamental issues, since they were postponed until the end of the war.The leader's personality, although attractive, was nevertheless uneven and impulsive.
It is not known where Kolchak is buried. According to the official version, Kolchak was shot, and his body was thrown into the hole. However, quite recently in the Irkutsk region, while working on the play "The Admiral's Star", hitherto secret documents were discovered. According to them, in the spring of 1920, not far from the Innokentyevskaya station, which is 20 km below Irkutsk on the bank of the Angara, local residents discovered a corpse in an admiral's uniform, which was carried ashore by the current. The arriving investigators conducted an inquiry and identified Kolchak's body. After which the admiral was buried according to Christian traditions. Today, investigators have compiled a map, where the place marked the place of the alleged burial. Now the documents are under examination.
Kolchak's novel with Timireva. Thanks to the film "Admiral", many learned about the romantic and beautiful love of Kolchak and Anna Timireva. In life, of course, everything was a little different. First of all, it should be said that Anna had a son from her husband. Vladimir was brought up by his grandfather during the turbulent events of the Civil War. In 1938 he was arrested on espionage charges and shot. The logic of the scriptwriters is clear - a woman leaving her husband for her lover can evoke understanding, but if she also abandoned her son, immersed in love affairs, then not everyone will understand this. Timireva's declaration of love actually took place not in Helsinki, but in Tallinn. And Anna has never been a nurse. In life, Kolchak's mistress was distinguished by a lively disposition, wit and charm, as well as an interest in politics. Compare with the screen image. Anna herself, by the way, spent 37 years in exile and prisons, essentially paying for her feelings. However, she lived for a long time, having died in 1975, but devoted her poems to Kolchak until her last days. In general, this story is multifaceted, it is worth reading about it in more detail.