Revolutionary sailors were among the most active participants in the February Revolution, were involved in most of the events of 1917, as well as the subsequent Civil War. At the very beginning, they had extremely left-wing political views. Some of them supported the Bolsheviks, and the rest - the Left Social Revolutionaries or anarchists. After a certain time, they realized that they categorically disagree with the red dictatorship and terror. All this led to the Kronstadt uprising of 1921. The uprising was brutally suppressed, after which the sailors actually ceased to exist as a political force.
Murder of B altic Fleet officers
For the first time everyone learned about the revolutionary sailors after the murder of officers of the B altic Fleet, which took place during the February Revolution. It happened on March 3 in Helsingfors, now it is the city of Helsinki, and thenwas part of the Russian Empire.
On the eve of that fatal day for many, Nicholas II abdicated the throne in Petrograd. To this he was forced by unrest, which continued in the capital for more than a day. Among the revolutionary sailors, this caused such a stir that they went against their officers.
The very first victim was Lieutenant Bubnov, who was on duty. He refused the B altic sailors to fulfill their demand to change the St. Andrew's flag to a red revolutionary flag. The incident occurred on the battleship "Andrew the First-Called". Angry revolutionary sailors simply raised Bubnov with bayonets.
This was a signal for everyone to the upcoming massacre of the officers. Admiral Arkady Nebolsin was next shot on the battleship gangway. After that, several more tsarist officers were killed. In total, by March 15, 120 officers were killed in the B altic Fleet, most in Helsingfors, the rest in Kronstadt, Reval, two people in Petrograd. Also in Kronstadt, another 12 officers of the land garrison were de alt with. Four people committed suicide in those days. In total, about six hundred people were attacked.
To understand the scale of these losses, it should be noted that in the entire First World War, Russia lost only 245 officers.
The next time people started talking about revolutionary sailors was in 1917 during the July Uprising, also known as the July Crisis. It was an anti-government uprising that began inPetrograd July 3, 1917.
It became a kind of reaction to the military defeat at the front and the crisis that broke out in the government. The previously existing balance between the Petrosoviet and the Provisional Government, which ultimately led to dual power, was violated. In fact, the crisis began with the spontaneous actions of the revolutionary sailors of Kronstadt, who were supported by the workers in the factories and the soldiers of the First Machine Gun Regiment. They demanded the immediate resignation of the Provisional Government and the transfer of all power to the Petrograd Soviet. At this stage, the revolutionary sailors and the anarchist movement united, along with the Bolsheviks.
The left in those days acted on the verge of extremism, which caused a furious rebuff from the right forces. The demonstration, which lasted two days, ended in bloodshed. A real persecution began against the Bolsheviks by the authorities, who began to claim that Lenin was a German spy. Many party leaders were forced to go underground.
Uprising in Petrograd
With the direct participation of revolutionary sailors in Petrograd, an armed uprising took place in November 1917. On October 24, the leaders of the Bolshevik Party stood at the head of the soldiers of the Petrograd garrison, the sailors of the B altic Fleet.
On October 25, sailors and soldiers showed up at the Mariinsky Palace, where the Pre-Parliament was meeting at that time. After lunch, minelayers, the yacht "Zarnitsa", the battleship "Dawn of Freedom", which, although it was already obsolete, came up from Kronstadtposed a real threat. In total, about three thousand revolutionary sailors of the B altic Fleet took part in the uprising.
The symbol of the victory of the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution was the storming of the Winter Palace. Representatives of the Bolsheviks repeatedly sent parliamentarians to the palace, where the ministers of the Provisional Government were located, who offered them to surrender, but all proposals were categorically rejected. By that time, the leader of the government, Kerensky, had left Petrograd. According to the official version, he went to meet the army, which was supposed to crush the Bolshevik uprising, although many still believe that he simply fled.
Shortly before midnight, shelling of Zimny with live shells from the Peter and Paul Fortress began. By one o'clock in the morning, the advance detachments entered the palace, the cadets defending it began to surrender.
As a result of this uprising, the Provisional Government was overthrown, Soviet power was established in Petrograd, sailors became symbols of the Russian revolution.
Control over the headquarters of the commander-in-chief
The next step was to establish control over the headquarters of the Supreme Commander. She was in Mogilev at that time, from there it was easier to lead the army in the First World War.
On November 17, a train of B altic sailors advanced to Mogilev. Two days later, the uprising began in the Mogilev garrison itself, General Dukhonin, who at that time held the post of Supreme Commander-in-Chief, was arrested. Instead, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Russian armyNikolai Krylenko.
When he arrived at headquarters, the opportunity to control the soldiers who staged lynching of Dukhonin disappeared. Having taken the stake, the Bolsheviks liquidated a major center that could potentially seriously resist their power.
Civil war on Don
The sailors did not stand aside when the Civil War broke out in Russia. The most effective they were on the Don. There the Bolsheviks fought with representatives of the Don Cossacks. Hostilities actually continued from the end of 1917 to the spring of 1920.
A difficult political situation has developed on the Don. On the one hand, the proletariat and the peasantry were strong here, which, before the Bolsheviks came to power, were, in fact, without rights. On the other side were prosperous landowners and Cossacks, who enjoyed various privileges. Due to the fact that both warring parties had support in the village, the war turned out to be large-scale and very long.
It was on the Don that counter-revolutionary armies began to form. This is due to its national and class characteristics. By 1920, everything ended with the final victory of the Red Army, Soviet power was established throughout the Don.
Dissolution of the Constituent Assembly
It was on the Constituent Assembly that many had high hopes, hoping that it would be able to restore order in the country. He was elected in November 1917, and two months later it began to sit.
To his merits include the fact that the assembly nationalized the land, which previously belonged to the landowners, proclaimedRussia as a republic, calling for the conclusion of a peace treaty. At the same time, the assembly opposed considering the Declaration of the Rights of Workers, which could give the councils of peasants and workers real state power.
After that, the Bolsheviks decided to paralyze the work of the Constituent Assembly. But Lenin ordered its members not to be dispersed immediately, but to wait until the meeting was over. As a result, the meeting dragged on almost until the morning. It all ended when, at about 5 o'clock in the morning, the Socialist-Revolutionary Chernov - the chairman - was given the phrase uttered by the sailors Zheleznyakov. He was the head of security, said that the guard was tired, and demanded that everyone leave the premises.
The delegates obeyed, agreeing to meet again in the evening. Lenin ordered everyone to be let out, but no one to be let back in. When the deputies returned to the Taurida Palace, it turned out that it was locked up, and there were guards with light artillery and machine guns at the entrance.
During the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, the Bolsheviks murdered two members of the Kadet Party - Andrey Shingarev and Fyodor Kokoshkin. Most historians are inclined to believe that this was the first act of the "Red Terror" in the country. The tragedy occurred on January 7, 1918.
Shortly before that, a decree was issued that actually declared the Cadets enemies of the people and ordered the arrest of their leaders. Kokoshkin and Shingarev were arrested when they first arrived in Petrograd on the opening day of the Constituent Assembly. By the end of the year, both asked to be transferred to the hospital from the Peter and Paul Fortress,but they were refused. At first, the prisoners were treated tolerably, but after the assassination attempt on Lenin at the very beginning of 1918, they were immediately transferred to the prison hospital, and on the night of January 7, both were killed by revolutionary sailors and Red Guards.
In the October Revolution there were many heroes who were then extolled by the communists and the Bolsheviks. One of the most famous is the sailor Zheleznyak. In fact, his name was Anatoly Grigoryevich Zheleznyakov. He was an anarchist and commander of a horse battery.
Zheleznyakov was born in 1895, but was born in the village of Fedoskino in the Moscow region. He studied at the military paramedic school, but having gone to the parade in honor of the empress's name day, he provoked his expulsion back in 1912. After that, he could not enter the Kronstadt Naval School. He worked as a port worker and a stoker, a locksmith. At the Liszt factory, which produced shells, began campaigning.
Desert from the army in the summer of 1916, working under an assumed name until the February Revolution.
Participation in the October Revolution
At the beginning of the revolution, sailor Zheleznyak ended up in Kronstadt, it was he who led the detachment that occupied the Admir alty. Having taken a direct part in the dispersal of the Constituent Assembly, in March Zheleznyakov led a detachment of one and a half thousand soldiers and officers.
Returning to Petrograd, he got a place in the Naval General Staff, but was soon forced to return to the front. Commanded an infantry regimentparticipated in the battles against Ataman Krasnov. At the end of 1918, he had a conflict with the specialists of the supply department. As a result, he was removed from command of the regiment and ordered to be arrested.
Having escaped, he took the surname Viktorsky and began working underground in Odessa. Again he began underground agitation. After the Red Army entered Odessa, he was made chairman of the sailors' union.
Since the Civil War was still going on, he soon found himself at the front again. Fought against the uprising of ataman Grigoriev, fought on the Denikin front.
Death of a hero
In July 1919, a detachment under the command of Zheleznyakov was in an ambush. It happened near Verkhovtsevo station.
When the armored train drove back, Zheleznyakov seized the moment, escaped from the ambush, but was mortally wounded by several shots in the chest. He passed away the very next day.
The B altic sailors dispersed after the Kronstadt mutiny or the uprising that happened in 1921. In March, the garrison based in the fortress of Kronstadt opposed the dictatorship carried out by the Bolsheviks. They were especially vehement in their criticism of the need for "war communism".
Serious problems that have already emerged in the young Soviet state led to this. This is the collapse of industry, and surplus appropriation, and political differences within the Bolshevik party itself. In February 1921, the commanders of two battleships, which were called"Petropavlovsk" and "Sevastopol" adopted a resolution in which they called for taking power away from the party and returning it to the Soviets.
When rumors spread that the Bolsheviks wanted to brutally suppress the uprising by force, the Provisional Revolutionary Committee was created, which established its power throughout the city. The authorities demanded that the rebels capitulate, and when the refusal followed, the Red Army units that remained loyal to the Bolsheviks stormed the island. The first attempt ended in failure, but the second time they captured the fortress and staged real repressions in the city.