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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A History Lesson: Gee, This Sounds Familiar . . .

An entry on Wikipedia:

Baron Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel (Пётр Николаевич Врангель) (German: Peter von Wrangel) (August 15, 1878, Zarasai, Lithuania (then Imperial Russia) — April 25, 1928, Brussels, Belgium)[pictured, left, circa 1920], was an officer in the Imperial Russian army and later commanding general of the pro-monarchist White Army in Southern Russia in the later stages of the Russian Civil War.

Wrangel was a Russian descendant of the Baltic German Wrangel family. After graduating from the Institute of Mining Engineering in 1901, Wrangel volunteered for the Cavalry and was commissioned an officer in 1902, taking part in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. In 1906, he became a member of the punitive expedition forces under General A.N.Orlov in the Baltic region. Wrangel graduated from the General Staff Academy in 1910 and commanded a cavalry unit during the World War I.

After the October Revolution Wrangel went to the Crimea and in August of 1918 joined the White Volunteer Army. He first commanded a Cavalry division and after spring of 1919 the entire Caucasus Army. In the Summer of 1919 he led the White Army's capture of Tsaritsyn (later Stalingrad, now Volgograd) and gained a reputation as a skilled and just administrator. In contrast to some other White Army generals, he did not tolerate lawlessness or looting by his troops. He became commanding general of the entire Volunteer Army in December 1919.

A political conflict with fellow White general Anton Denikin would soon force him to go abroad. However, he would return and on April 4, 1920 was elected Commander-in-Chief of the White forces in Crimea, which he then renamed the Russian Army. Together with a coalition government he instituted sweeping reforms (including land reforms), and as a result the Crimea became the most economically prosperous of all Russia regions.[citation needed] He also recognized and established relations with the new (and short lived) anti-Bolshevik independent republics of Ukraine and Georgia, among others.

After defeats in which he would lose half of his standing army, and facing defeat in Northern Tavria and the Crimea, Wrangel organized a mass evacuation on the shores of the Black Sea. Wrangel gave every officer, soldier, and civilian a free choice: evacuate and go with him into the unknown, or remain in Russia and face the wrath of the Red Army. The last military and civilians personnel left Russia with Wrangel on November 14, 1920.

Wrangel journeyed via Turkey and Tunisia to Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes as the head of all Russian refugees, and arguably became the most prominent of all exiled White emigres. In 1924, he established the Russian All-Military Union (Русский общевоинский союз), an organization established to fight for the preservation and unity of all White forces living abroad; he would later conduct anti-Soviet guerrilla warfare in the USSR. Wrangel's memoirs Notes (Записки) were published in the magazine White Cause (Белое дело) and also in Berlin in 1928.

Some (including Wrangel's family) believe that the general was poisoned by his butler's brother, who lived in the Wrangel household in Brussels briefly and was allegedly a Soviet agent. Soon after the butler's brother's departure, Wrangel took ill and died. Wrangel's funeral and burial took place in Serbia. He is buried in an Orthodox church in Belgrade.

The town of Sremski Karlovci, which served as his headquarters and was at the time of his death the location of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile, had a monument erected in his honor by his fellow White Russians.

4 comments:

OstapR said...

La Russophobe: speaking of wikipedia, would you please come edit to help combat the imperialist Russians who attempt to distort history and glorify their Soviet past? As a contributor, I know firsthand this is a major problem. please consider. look at the article on Putin.

Anonymous said...

Birdsofafeather to LR:
1- Do you realize that Wrangel was a REAL nationalist? I am not sure you would have liked him very much...and I am not sure all White Russians were very progressive people, when you hear what some of their grandchildren say publicly...
But you are right, there is a certain pattern of poisoning there...
2-wikipedia needs some cleaning indeed. BOAF

La Russophobe said...

I don't think you grasp the point of this post, which is perhaps not surprising given your apparently puny brain. The point is that he was murdered just like Litvinenko for doing exactly the same thing, not whether we'd like him or not. We don't like Berezovsky, but we LOVE his opposition to the Kremlin and we'd FAR rather see him in charge of it than Putin, whom we despise. Then again, we'd rather see an ape in charge of the Kremlin, he'd do far less damage to Russia's future.

Alex said...

To be fair La Russophobe, I agree with your viewpoints on Putin, but I do not think Berezovsky would be any better if he were in the Kremlin. Berezovsky was the scum that put Putin in power in the first place and is only in opposition to Putin in all probabiluty to booster Putins popularity, knowing that extradition from UK (without a formal agreement) is very difficult to achieve, because there the rule of law exists and the courts can override the decision of the Prime Minister, or a memeber of his cabinet (who in fact did decide to extradite that asshole).