banner

Orders of Battle

All orders of battle merely give a snapshot of the army at one point in time: and the Russian Civil War even more so than most wars. What lists we have tend to be associated with a reorganisation, so are much better evidence for the months following than for the months preceding them.

The orbats I have chosen are largely those where there are numbers attached, which allows gamers to gauge some idea of the relative balance of infantry : cavalry : MGs : guns.

Note: different armies counted differently. The Whites tended to count only actual riflemen as "bayonets" and just line cavalry as "sabres", so not including any supporting troops like machine-gunners. The Reds tended to count everyone in a rifle unit as a "bayonet", whether they served a weapon or not. The Reds also tended to have more non-combatants in a front-line unit than their opponents. It is therefore inappropriate to just compare the straight figures directly.

Anti-Bolshevik forces in South Russia

Armed Forces of South Russia

The AFSR was divided into some major groupings. Here are those front-line portions to the east (that is excluding the Ukraine, where the Volunteer Army portion was) at the time of the rejig in Autumn 1919. This side of the army is largely Cossack.

The AFSR was pretty much at its peak at this time:

Caucasian Army in October 1919

Forces of the Northern Caucasus in October 1919

Don Army in October 1919

Forces at the Battle of Orel, October 1919

Russian Army

During 1920 the AFSR became the "Russian Army" under the leadership of Baron Wrangel. There were a great many rearrangements, both big and small, and units in the orders of battle might have no equipment or be made up more or less entirely of POWs. Orbats for this period must therefore be used with great caution, as they were out of date even as they were being made.

Russian Army July 1920

2nd Corps August 1920

Russian Army October 1920

Anti-Bolshevik forces on the Estonian/Petrograd Front

This is the White Russian units operating on the Estonian border up to May 1919.

Independent Corps of the Northern Army in pdf

(Maps showing the positions of the above units of the Northern Corps in May, and the extent of their offensive can be found in the maps section.)

By late 1919 the Whites in this area were called the North-Western Army, and under the command of General Iudenich. Although not actually doing much fighting, their reluctant Estonian allies propped up the southern wing. This is the list of units pretty much at the peak of the second drive on Petrograd.

North-Western Army in October 1919

Estonian Army in October 1919

Anti-Bolshevik forces in Siberia

KOMUCH

The short-lived KOMUCH was never a great power but its campaigning in co-ordination with the Czech Legion was the first serious threat to Soviet power. Information about the People's Army is hard to find, hated as it was by adherents of the extremist elements that came to dominate the early writing up of the war, both Red and White.

People's Army in August 1918

Sub-units of the People's Army

Kolchak

Kolchak's units underwent a kaleidoscopic change of organisation as the fronts swayed back and forth huge distances. Just before his peak we have a fairly full list. Because it is so long, it is broken into sections.

Siberian Army

Western Army

Southern Group

SouthWestern Army

The arrangement of the army in the period just before, and their opponents, can be seen in this map.

Urals Host

The Urals Cossack Host was formally part of the main White forces in Siberia, but operationally it kept separate. The Ataman commanded non-Cossack forces and parts of other Hosts, and various orders of battle deal with those in different ways. The Urals Host appears to have had both territorial and numerical naming systems, which makes tracing units difficult:

Urals units of the SouthWestern Army December 1918

Urals Separate Army April-September 1919

Urals Separate Army July 1919

Orenburg Host

The Orenburg Cossack Host is very difficult to keep track of. Ataman Dutov commanded large numbers of non-Cossack forces, but at the same time many Orenburg Cossack regiments were dispersed to other commands. These orders of battle do not list all the Orenburg units, just those in the main Orenburg theatre.

Orenburg Separate Army in January 1919

South-Western Army December 1918

Semirechye

Independent Semirechensk Army mid 1919 (and opposing Red Forces)

Independent Semirechensk Army early 1920

Red Army

A bit of a resource for tracking down Soviet Cavalry divisions: especially useful for when they changed names.

Soviet Cavalry Divisions

An orbat for those elements of the Soviet Southern Front at the crucial turning point of Denikin's drive on Moscow. Known as the Battle of Orel or, in Soviet literature, as the Orel-Kromy Operation:

Soviets at Orel, October 1919

An orbat for those units facing the White "Russian Army" in the Crimea above:

Soviets facing Wrangel October 1920

Polish Fronts

Battle of Warsaw 1920

The entire Polish Army in August 1920, at the time of the Battle of Warsaw. It includes the numbers for most divisions, taken from Sikorski:

Battle of Warsaw orbat in pdf

For the Battle of Komarów (also known as Cześniki) see my article in the history section:

Battle of Komarów/Cześniki

NDA Belorussian Campaign 1920

An orbat for the brief attack near Mozyr' by the Russian Peoples' Volunteer Army under the command of Bulak-Balakhovich:

NDA orbat in pdf

Ukrainian Nationalists

There is an orbat for the Galician Ukrainians, who largely fought the Poles at this time:

UGA early 1919 in pdf

Freikorps in the Baltic

Various orbats can be found in my section on that war:

Latvia 1919

Other Sources for Orders of Battle

Polish-Soviet War

For detailed numbers of the Soviet side the book by Kakurin and Melikov, Гражданская Война В России: Война С Белополяками (Civil War in Russia: War with the White Poles), has extensive numbers in the appendices. I'm not sure that all the Polish ones are entirely accurate, however.

Battle of the Niemen orbat for the Poles at Wikipedia.

Russian Civil War

Yahoo RussianCivilWar : a non-political discussion group dedicated to the Russian Civil War, has orbats in the message archives and files for most of the main White armies, and a few Red ones.

The Trans-Dnepr Operation by Tom Hillman has good orbats in the back relating to the forces involved.

Kronstadt

The Role of M.N. Tukhachevskii in the Suppression of the Kronstadt Rebellion by Neil Croll in Revolutionary Russia, Vol 17, No. 2, Dec 2004 is easily the best source of unit information on the Soviet side that I have seen.

banner