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AFSR at Orel

10 - 27 October 1919


The primary source of the units involved in the Orel-Kromy Operation is Seargent Magazine #5, which was available for a while on the web.

To that I have added sub-units and numbers taken from Volkov's Encyclopedia of the Civil War: the White Units dating from 18 October 1919 (5 October "old style"). More than ever these present just a "snap shot" at a particular time, as units were being formed and destroyed at a bewildering rate.

The units listed are part of the Volunteer Army under Lieutenant-General Mai-Maevskiy.
 

I Army Corps

Commander – Lieutenant-General Kutepov
Chief of Staff – Major-General Dostavalov

1st Infantry Division

Commander – Major-General Timanovskiy
Chief of Staff – Colonel Bittenbinder

Markov Brigade

Brigade Commander – Major-General Tret'yakov

1st General Markov Officer Infantry Regiment – Colonel Bleysh – 882 bayonets, 20 MGs
2nd General Markov Officer Infantry Regiment – Colonel Morozov – 1,174 bayonets, 24 MGs
3rd General Markov Officer Infantry Regiment (newly formed) – Colonel Naumov – 618 bayonets, 24 MGs

Kornilov Brigade

Brigade Commander – Colonel Skoblin

1st General Kornilov ShockRegiment – Colonel Peshnya – 945 bayonets, 26 MGs
2nd General Kornilov Shock Regiment – Captain Pashkevich – 1,150 bayonets, 30 MGs
3rd General Kornilov Shock Regiment – Cossack Captain Mileyev – 1,279 bayonets, 17 MGs

1st Artillery Brigade

Brigade Commander – Staff Captain Shperling – 14 light guns, 11 howitzers

1st Divizion – Colonel Mashin

1st General Markov Battery
2nd Light Battery

2nd Divizion – Colonel Mihailov

3rd Light Battery
4th Light Battery

3rd Divizion – Colonel Ropponet

5th Battery
6th Battery

4th Divizion – Colonel Ayvazov

7th Light Howitzer Battery
8th Light Howitzer Battery

Reserve Divizion

Other Units

Reserve Battalion of the 1st Infantry Division – Colonel Konovalov – 1,122 bayonets, 7 MGs
1st General Markov Engineering Company – Colonel Grotengel'm – 563 men
Black Sea Cavalry Regiment – Colonel Glavche

Attached from the 9th Infantry Division

1st General Alekseev Partisan Infantry Regiment – Colonel Prince Gagarin – approx 1,000 bayonets
2nd General Alekseev Partisan Infantry Regiment (recently formed)


There were mounted components in the Kornilov Regiments unrecorded by Volkov, around 200 sabres each. The Black Sea Cavalry Regiment acted as separate squadrons, supporting the Markov Brigade, at this time.

The strength of this division declined rapidly during the fighting around Orel and Kromy. The strengths above are quite a lot lower than the peak numbers of the start of the battle
the Kornilov Brigade had started with over 6,000 bayonets.

This division was within weeks split into the Kornilov and Markov Divisions (the artillery being split between them).

3rd Infantry Division

Commander– Major-General Vitkovskiy
Chief of Staff – Colonel Bredov

1st Brigade

Brigade Commander – Major-General Kel'ner

1st General Drozdovsky Officer Rifle Regiment – Colonel Rummel – 1,352 bayones, 45 MGs
2nd General Drozdovsky Officer Rifle Regiment – Colonel Turkul – 1,309 bayonets, 55 MGs

2nd Brigade

Brigade Commander – ?

3rd General Drozdovsky Officer Rifle Regiment (forming) – Colonel Dron – 1,130 bayonets, 12 MGs
83rd Samursky Infantry Regiment – Colonel Zvyagin – 1,304 bayonets, 26 MGs

3rd Artillery Brigade

Brigade Commander – Colonel Polzikov – 20 light guns, 6 howitzers

1st Divizion – Colonel Protasevich

1st Light Battery
2nd Light Battery

2nd Divizion – Colonel Shein

3rd Light Battery
4th Light Battery

3rd Divizion – Colonel Sokolov

5th Battery
6th Battery

4th Divizion – Colonel Medvedev

7th Light Howitzer Battery
8th Light Howitzer Battery

3rd Reserve Artillery Divizion

Divisional Assets

Reserve Battalion of the 3rd Division – Colonel Yen'kov – 850 bayonets, 4 MGs
Composite Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Brigade – 861 sabres, 10 MGs
3rd General Drozdovsky Engineer Company – Colonel Borodin – 228 men

The infantry units likely had cavalry components unrecorded by Volkov (or there were dispersed squadrons of a cavalry unit operating with the infantry regiments). As with the 1st Division, unit strengths fell rapidly during the battle.

Soon afterwards this became the Drozdovskiy Division,with the Samurskiy going to the Alekseev Division..

9th Infantry Division

Attached to the 1st Division

General Alekseev Partisan Infantry Regiment – Colonel Prince Gagarin
2nd General Alekseev Partisan Infantry Regiment (recently formed)

Not at Orel-Kromy

Composite Rifle Regiment – Colonel Gravitskiy (in rear fighting Makhno)
13th Belozerskiy Infantry Regiment – Colonel Shteyfon (Forces of the Kiev Area)
14th Olonetskiy Infantry Regiment – (Forces of the Kiev Area)

This division was only recently formed, out of 1st Division (Alekseevs) and 3rd Division (Belozerskiy, Olonetskiy and Composite Rifle) expanded largely from POWs. Only the Alekseevs were present at the battles for Orel and Kromy, the others being further west or in the rear.

The Alekseev Regiments became the Alekseev Division soon afterwards, the remainder carrying on until merged into the Drozdovsky Division in January 1920.

Corps Assets

3rd Separate Heavy Howitzer Divizion

Separate Heavy Tractor Gun Divizion

Commander – Colonel Sakhnovskiy

2nd Armored Train Divizion (attached to 1st Infantry Division)

Commander – Colonel Gromyko

"Officer" (light) – Colonel Lebedev
"General Kornilov" (light) – Captain Molchanov – (operating with Alexeyev Regiment)
"Ivan Kalita" (heavy) – Colonel Zelenetsky

9th Armored Train Divizion (attached to 3rd Infantry Division)

"Drozdovets" (light) – Captain Ripke
"The Thunder of Victory" (light) – ?
"Soldier" (heavy) – Colonel Ziegler

2nd Tank Detachment

5 tanks

1st Armoured Car Divizion

Kornilov
Glorious
Kubanets
General Drozdovskiy
others under repair

1st Corps Engineer Company

256 men

The slower moving parts of the Corps played little or no part in the battles. The tanks, in particular, were unable to keep pace with the fast moving operations. It seems unlikely the heavy guns fared much better.

Also at the battle, but part of the 5th Cavalry Corps was:

1st Cavalry Division

Commander– Major-General Chekotavskiy
Chief of Staff – Colonel Kreyter

1st Brigade

Brigade Commander – Colonel Barbovich

1st General Alekseev Officer Cavalry Regiment – Colonel Saburov – 196 sabres, 16 MGs
10th Ingermanlandskiy Hussar Regiment – Captain Tikhonravov – 270 bayonets, 240 sabres

2nd Brigade

Composite Regiment of the 9th Cavalry Division – Colonel Vygran – 622 bayonets, 230 sabres, 30 MGs
Composite Regiment of the 12th Cavalry Division – Colonel Psiol – 396 bayonets, 161 sabres

3rd Brigade


Brigade Commander – Major-General Alenich

Composite Hussar Regiment – Colonel Gaevskiy
Composite Lancer Regiment – Colonel Aprelev – 310 bayonets, 95 sabres, 6 MGs

3rd Horse-Artillery Divizion

Divizion Commander – Colonel Prince Avalov

1st General Drozdovsky Separate Mountain-Horse Battery – Captain Yermolov
Composite Battery of the Caucasian Separate Mountain-Horse Artillery Divizion
7th Horse Mountain Battery (uncertain)

It appears that only the 1st Brigade was involved directly in the fighting around Orel. The rest was further east.



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