The Southern Front

The Fight Against Wrangel

Order No.236

By the Chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic to the 9th Army, August 26, 1920, No.236, Yekaterinodar

Transcribed and HTML markup for the Trotsky Internet Archive by David Walters

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To be read to all companies, squadrons, batteries and task-forces

Do not just drive them out, destroy them!

Baron Von Wrangel landed his expeditionary force with a view to raising a revolt in the Kuban and the Don country by the former landlords, rich men, Tsarist officers and Cossack kulaks. [1] At the same time, Baron Von Wrangel tried to cut a way for himself from the Crimea through the Ukraine to the Don.

We can already say that the Tsarist baron’s scheme has failed to come off. The general’s bands did not succeed in raising revolt either in the Kuban or in the Don country. The White detachments of Von Wrangel fmd themselves surrounded. Although their commanders are trying in some places to break through the ring formed by our forces, in the main they think only of how to head for home. The expeditionary force is apparently preparing to get back aboard ship and return to the Crimea.

Red warriors of the 9th Army! It would be a very great shame if we were to allow the White serpent to slip away. On the Crimean front our infantry, cavalry and artillery are waging a courageous struggle against Wrangel’s forces and dealing them stout blows. If the expeditionary force were to slip through our clutches and return to the Crimea, it would strengthen the Tsarist baron’s forces there. Then the Red warriors on the Crimean front would have to do the work which you, warriors of the 9th Army, had failed to do. But this will not happen. Wrangel’s expedition must be crushed - and you will do this.

You, Red warriors of the 9th Army, are incomparably more numerous than the White Guards who have landed. Large reserves are concentrated behind you.

I have sent tried military and political workers to your army. All conditions for complete victory are present. Winning this victory depends on you.

Of the commanders and commissars I demand the highest offensive vigour. All indecision, slowness, procrastination will be be punished as grave crimes against the socialist fatherland.

The task is clear and simple: not to let the enemy slip away, to catch him, smash him, wipe him off the face of the earth.

Forward, you bravest! Show the way to the others! Punish self-seekers! Death to deserters! Glory to the valiant! Forward!


1. During the summer of 1920 stubborn fighting continued on the Crimean sector of the South-Western front, with varying success. Wrangel failed in all his attempts to escape from the sack in which his forces found themselves, surrounded on three sides, and resolved to distract our forces by launching landing operations. On August 9, 1920 a small enemy detachment landed at Krivaya Kosa [Krivaya Kosa is about 70 km. west of Taganrog.] and broke through northward to the Don, but there, halted by our units, they were partly destroyed and partly forced to flee (see map No. 7). A second landing on a larger scale and with broader tasks, was effected on August 14 on the Caucasian coast, south of Yeysk, while at the same time small forces were put ashore on the Taman Peninsula and at Anapa. After three weeks of stubborn fighting, Wrangel’s forces had to leave our Caucasian coast. Thus, both of these expeditions failed both militarily and politically. The Don and Kuban Cossacks refrained from supporting Wrangel, and his reckoning on a rebellion proved to be quite groundless. After the liquidation of the landings the centre of gravity of the fight against Wrangel moved back to the shores of the Crimea (see maps nos.7 and 8).

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Last updated on: 26.12.2006