General description of the situation. Khiva and Bokhara from the February revolution of 1917 until the reestablishment of contact between Turkestan and Soviet Union. Aims and missions involved in the policies of the imperialists with respect to Khiva and Bokhara. Growth of internal revolutionary forces in Bokhara their class characteristics. Events in Khiva; formation of the Khorassan Peoples Republic. Preparations of the Emir of Bokhara for the struggle with the revolution. Preparations of the Red command in anticipation of the Bokhara revolution. Opposing armed forces. Plans of the Red command. Brief description of the theater of operations. The Bokhara revolution. Support of the latter by Soviet troops. Assault on the city of Bokhara. Formation of the Bokhara Peoples Republic. The 1921 Hissar expedition; its aims and results. The 1922 counter-revolution. Enver-pasha and his slogans.
The process in the development of the revolution in Central Asia was conducted under exceedingly difficult conditions.
The February revolution had swept from the field of action the power of Czarist colonizers and pitted against one another two conflicting forces: the numerically small but hardened proletariat on the one hand, and the Russian and local bourgeoisie on the other. The internal contradictions among the enemies of the proletariat were forgotten in the face of the general danger threatening them. The Russian bourgeoisie and their obedient followers, in their struggle with the proletariat, were grouped together with the local bourgeoisie and feudal lords. Both forces opposed to the revolution united in their efforts to prevent the mass of local toiling inhabitants from discovering their lowly aims in their efforts of not only to prevent the masses from joining the revolutionary struggle, but to divert them and to exploit their backwardness and religious fanaticism against the revolutionary movement. (See map - original text).
Before long British imperialism came out as an active ally of the enemies of the proletariat, operating secretly through its agents, and openly by armed intervention. In the difficult, victorious struggle of the proletariat that brought about the greatest improvement in the lives of the peoples of Central Asia, a prominent place was assumed by the destruction, in conjunction with the nationalist revolutionary forces, of one of the main bulwarks of the reactionaries in Central Asia - the power of the Emir of Bokhara.
Pre-revolutionary Bokhara was a backward capitalistic commercial country. The power of the Bokhara government was wielded by the leading merchant of the country who had a monopoly on the fur trade. The Emir's power rested on the class of large land owners, traders and on the numerically large, ignorant and fanatical clergy. This social superstructure bore down with its full weight on the urban bourgeoisie class that was just coming into being, and upon the rest of the masses of the inhabitants made up of agrarian workers and nomad cattle raisers. The patrimonial mode of existence inherent in countries with backward forms of economy closely approximating those of medieval Europe had been well preserved in Bokhara. Along with the accumulation of wealth by certain individuals, the masses lived in poverty and ignorance. And the already unenviable economic situation of the masses of the country continued steadily to grow worse ever since the beginning of the World War.
In the years immediately preceding the World War, throughout Turkestan and especially at Bokhara, there was intensive development of cotton growing at the expense of curtailment in the growth of other products, especially rice and wheat. Turkestan and Bokhara obtained the latter from European Russia in exchange for cotton. The World War curtailed the importation of wheat into Turkestan and Bokhara, and the civil war halted it entirely. Both countries were compelled to reorganize their rural economy in a hurry, considerably restricting the sowing of cotton and planting wheat once more instead.
On the other hand, British imperialism intended to establish strongholds in the struggle with the Soviet republic both at Bokhara and at Khiva. British agents were looking in on Bokhara, watching the situation and endeavoring to attract to their side any influential people. British occupational forces in northern Persia and in the Transcaspian Territory were to support active revolutionary undertakings where these were about to become of a decisive nature. But, under the heel of the feudal reactionaries at Bokhara itself a fresh revolutionary ray succeeded in penetrating. The political zeal of the young Bokhara bourgeoisie found expression in the organization of the Dzhadid party. This party had it's inception back during the first Russian revolution in 1905. The organization, subjected to considerable persecution on the part of the Bokhara and Russian governments, existed until 1917, at which time it was reorganized into the Young Bokhara Party, which had adopted policies of radical reform in all branches of national life. The leaders of this party looked hopefully to the Soviet government. Only this government carried on its banners the promises of support to all backward nationalities of the East in their efforts toward national and cultural liberation. The power of the Young Bokhara Party was still rather weak for any independent action against the regime of the Emir. This had to await more propitious times, while for the time being efforts were being made to prepare the masses for revolutionary action. The economic depression at Bokhara afforded many favorable opportunities for this preparatory work.
In the spring of 1920, the foreign situation of Central Asia took an unfavorable turn for the local counter- revolutionaries. The successful, vigorous actions of the armies of the Turkestan front led by comrade M.V.Frunze, opened first of all a wide path from the revolutionary centers of our Union into the heart of Soviet Turkestan. Thoroughly preserved, the Central Asia railway enabled the Fourth Army of the Turkestan Front to liquidate promptly the forces of the Transcaspian counter-revolutionaries. At the same time, in the Ferghana territory the single front of the counter-revolutionaries was beginning to crack on the one hand,under the influence of the new course of Soviet policies, which had been directed toward meeting the interests of the population to certain respects, and on the other, as a result of the mutual rivalries of the local leaders.
In spite of the rather limited forces employed by us in Turkestan, the vastness of the territories, the marauding bands infesting the latter, the new methods of combat here involved, and that the fighting lasted for some time and involved sanguinary battles, it was apparent that the local brigand movement in the Ferghana territory was gradually losing ground.
At Khiva, in the summer of 1920, there was an internal revolt. The local khan was overthrown by the leader of the Turkestan brigand bands, Dzhunaid-khan, who endeavored to assume his place. Later units of the Red army supported the revolt of the local inhabitants against the ravishes of Dzhunaid-khan and the khan regime of Khiva was reorganized in the summer of 1920 into the Khorassan Peoples Soviet Republic. For some time Red army garrisons were maintained at Khiva and certain other points of the above republic.
Thus the Bokhara center of the counter-revolutionaries, as a result of all these events, was completely isolated and by itself, though it still remained the final base from which the counter-revolutionaries could attempt to disrupt the Soviet structure in Turkestan or interfere with its peaceful development.
Beginning in the fall of 1920 the Bokhara reactionaries began their gradual preparations for a possible struggle with the Soviet government. The Bokhara clergy strongly advocated a holy war against the infidels. At the same time the Emir of Bokhara hastily prepared his armed forces for the impending struggle. Already in February, 1920, he attempted to fill up his military organizations by conscripting a part of his inhabitants, a matter which was never before attempted. He instituted intensified military training for his forces, in which he was given much assistance by White Russian instructors.
The reunion of Soviet Turkestan with the basic territories of the Soviet Union did not as yet signify the end of all difficulties confronting the Soviet government, or the opportunity for peaceful reconstruction. The forces of the Turkestan front were too limited, compared to the great variety of missions and the vastness of the territory involved. The immediate missions of the Red army consisted of guarding the vast land frontiers of Soviet Turkestan, over a distance of several thousand kilometers; continual action against the Ferghana brigand bands, the suppression of kulak (wealthy peasant ) uprisings in Smiryetchensk: the support of the friendly government of the Khorassan republic. Thus, in the event of action against the Bokhara Khorassan republic. Thus, in the event of action against the Bokhara counter -revolutionaries, the Bokhara commander of the Turkestan front had at his disposal only a rather limited force.
In the summer of 1920 certain of the above missions loomed large before M.V. Frunze. The scope of the brigand movement in Ferghana, which varied in its intensity throughout the entire civil war in Turkestan, suddenly gathered momentum. This proved quite important to the Bokhara counter-revolutionaries - diverting a part of the Red forces from the latter.
Kulak revolts were staged at Semiryetchensk which immobilized the Red army forces situated thereat (Turkestan 3d Infantry Division). The communications of the Red First Army extending to the Persian frontier and the shores of the Caspian Sea were along the hostile Bokhara territory and therefore came under the direct threat of the latter. Thus, the tenseness of the political situation was quite equal in importance to that of the strategic situation. In this situation, the basic political necessity was the unification on the platform of the Soviet power of all of the more active and revolutionarily inclined elements of the country. Entrance of the Red Army into Turkestan produced within it and adjacent countries such as Bokhara, the same effect that was produced during our civil war in the Ukraine, in the Baltic provinces and in Poland. This consisted of an awakening and growth of the local revolutionary forces, of the effort of these potential revolutionary forces to become active and to consolidate. Hence it is quite natural that the Young Bokhara revolutionary movement, feeling the ground under its feet, should now pass from its organizational stage to active revolutionary functions. Already in August, 1920, in certain Bokhara cities, there were a number of armed revolts, with the insurgents appealing to the Soviet government and the Red command for assistance.
In turn the latter were awaiting any minute the active revolt of the Bokhara counter-revolutionaries, and they had every reason for doing so. M.V.Frunze back in the early part of August was already in possession of information that considerable regular and irregular forces of the Emir of Bokhara, numbering 30,000 to 35,000 men, were gathering in the vicinity of the capital. Notwithstanding the counsel of certain local agencies of the government, which recommended a policy of waiting and caution in order not to complicate possible relations with the Allied powers, the commander of the Turkestan front adopted the following decision: In the event of necessity, not to wait for an attack by the Emir, to support the revolutionary movement of the wide Bokhara masses, and to anticipate the action of the Bokhara army by an assault against the more vital centers of the country. Among the latter were included the thickly populated valley of the Zerafshan river, which represented the political and administrative center of the country - the city of Bokhara, and the Shkhrisyabz - Guzar area. The attack on Old Bokhara served a double purpose: the capture of the capital of the country, and along with it the destruction of the hostile manpower, inasmuch as nearly the entire regular army of the Emir had been concentrated in the Old Bokhara city and its environs.
The military forces of the Emir of Bokhara on the 20th of August consisted of regular and militia units. The regular army units numbered about 8,725 infantry and 7,580 cavalry troops with 23 light guns and 12 machine-guns. The irregular forces, belonging to the district governments included a total strength of about 27,000 infantry and cavalry ,with two- machine-guns, Most of the artillery consisted of obsolete model weapons, of the smooth bore cast iron type, firing cast iron or stone shells.
As regards efficiency, the troops of the Emir were of a low standard. Military service had never been regarded highly in Bokhara. The Emir's troops were mostly mercenaries, with considerable criminals among them. The training of the officers and men was at a very low state of proficiency. Efforts to fill up military units by means of conscription produced very poor results. Men were drafted into the army without any regard whatever for their families by calling to the colors definite quotas from different rural districts. The latter, in many instances, used this system to rid themselves of undesirable element, or resorted to many abuses, selection for the army members of poor families without regard for the material situation of the families concerned. The men thus selected for service, in the circumstances, afforded one more reason for the general dissatisfaction of the populace with the government of the Emir.
Against these forces of the enemy, the commander of the Turkestan front, by exerting every means, could muster only 6,000 to 7,000 infantry, 2,300 to 2,6980 cavalry, 35 light and 5 heavy guns. 8 armored cars, 5 armored trains and 11 airplanes. These did not include the armed forces of the Bokhara revolution that began organizing in August within the Bokhara territory.
In comparing the strength of the opposing forces, it is necessary to note that on the side of the Bokhara reactionaries there was only a numerical superiority. This advantage was offset by the important technical superiority of the Red Army,by the superior training and high standard of political class- consciousness of its forces, and finally by the sympathy of the wide Bokhara masses for the, who regarded the Red Army as the liberator of their people from the age long oppression of the Emir.
At the time of the beginning of the decisive fighting the forces of the Emir were disposed in two principal groups. The regular Bokhara army was almost in its entirety concentrated at the capital - the city of Old Bokhara and environs. The forces of the district chiefs occupied the Kitab - Shakhrisyabz area, covering the Takhta - Karachi pass. The shortest and best route from the city of Samarkand to the interior of the country extended through this pass. This was the post road from Samarkand via Guzar to Termez, which was suitable for vehicular travel throughout its length in the old days.
In anticipation of the armed conflict with Bokhara that was becoming unavoidable, M.V. Frunze, commanding the Turkestan front, endeavored to take up a line of departure which would insure the delivery of a decisive assault against the Bokhara counter-revolutionaries as quickly as possible. On August 12, 1920, in an order to the forces of the Turkestan front, it was emphasized that the general political situation demanded of us to prepare for active undertakings the moment that the interests of the revolution should make this necessary. In anticipation of such action in the vicinity of the city of Nov. Chardzhui there were concentrated the Chardzhui group of forces consisting of one infantry regiment, one cavalry squadron and one battalion of light artillery. This detachment was reinforced, furthermore, by a detachment of Bokhara revolutionary forces commanded by Kulmukhametov, while the Amu-Daryinsk flotilla and the Red garrisons of the cities of Chardzhui, Kerki and Termez were also placed under the control of Kulmukhametov.
The missions of the detachment included maintenance of control over the immediate suburban districts of Chardzhui and the occupation of the city of Karakol situated near the railway midway between Chardzhui and Old Bokhara. The commander of the detachment was ordered to give particular attention to the railway in his sector. At the same time, the flotilla was to patrol the Amu-Darye river in the sector extending from the Kerki fortifications up to the Termez fortifications, and prevent any and all crossings within this section of the river either way. The Chardzhui group of forces was placed under the strategic control of the Samarkand group. The latter group was split up into three detachments: The Kagan detachment, consisting of all units forming the garrisons of the cities of Nov. (New) Bokhara* (Kagan) and Karshi; this detachment was also to be joined by the 4th Cavalry Regiment and the 1st Eastern Musulman Infantry Regiment that were due to arrive from Turkestan. The mission of this detachment was to include the capture of the city of Stary (old) Bokhara revolutionary detachment, was to concentrate at the city of Katta-Kurgan not later than August 15th. It was intended, at the proper time, to occupy with these forces Khatrych and Ziaetdin, and later also the city of Kerman. Finally, the Samarkand group itself, comprising the 3d Turkestan Infantry Regiment, the 1st Turkestan Cavalry Division, one independent cavalry brigade and one engineer company, had been called upon, in the event of necessity, to defeat the Bokhara forces in the Shakhrisyabz-Kitabsk area and to capture and firmly establish itself in the Kashka-Darya river area.
* Seven infantry regiments, 3 1/2 cavalry regiments, 40 light and 5 heavy guns (according to material furnished by comrade Tozhdestvensky).
Further, the instructions covered the distribution and time of concentration of technical units and aircraft. Of particular interest is the fact of the mention in the orders of the manner of the concentration of the Kagan group. The units that had been ordered for its reinforcement were to arrive in the city of Kagan with complete surprise for the enemy, passing through Bokhara territory on train during the night. These orders, setting forth not only the line of departure preparatory to the attack for the units but also the combat missions of the units involved were highly inspired in their content. Duly evaluating the strength of the opposing forces, their quality and weapons, the front commander, notwithstanding the numerical superiority of the enemy, assumed two missions simultaneously: the endeavor with a single blow to put an end to the Bokhara political center of the counter-revolutionaries and backers of the same, in the form of the Bokhara regular army - selecting as the direction of its efforts the city of Stary (Old) Bokhara, and on the other hand, he selected as his objective and considerable forces of the enemy that had been concentrated in the Shakrisyabz-Kitabsk area. It was impossible to ignore these forces or merely to station a screening force against them. However, in view of the inequality in the numerical strength of the forces involved, it became necessary to further weaken the forces that had been intended for employment against the capital. Taking all this fully into consideration, the front commander equalized the forces involved by a skilful disposition of these along the railway. The latter was fully in our control, thus rendering possible the concentration of shock detachments at the proper points at the proper time. Furthermore, the attention of the enemy and his forces were diverted toward two opposite directions, namely, against Samarkand and against Chardzhui. In the circumstances, with the original positions occupied by both sides, the forces of the Emir were already in the position of a strategic envelopment even before the actual fighting had started and the commander of the Turkestan front had taken all necessary steps to convert this strategic envelopment into a tactical one.
The Bokhara operation of M. V. Frunze in 1920 formed the basis of a number of Red Army undertakings in Bokhara also in the years that followed. The object of these was either to consolidate the original gains of the revolution, or to engage local counter-revolution-aries which taking advantage of temporary vacillation on the part of the masses owing to the prevailing economic conditions and the difficulty involved in relations between national minorities. The vast spaces and the difficult approach to the theater of operations greatly affected the military operations, we deem it necessary to present a brief description of the same.
The natural boundary of Bokhara in the north was presented by the Hissar mountain-range which separated it from Turkestan; in the south by the Amu-Darya river, serving for some distance as its boundary with Afghanistan; in the east by the elevated barren Pamir plateau, and in the west by the sandy desert extending into Khiva.
Within these natural boundaries, the country was about 900 kilometers in length and 250 to 170 kilometers in width. The nature of its terrain is varied: its eastern portion beginning with the Huzara meridian, is first hilly and then mountainous, abounding in the spurs of the Hissar mountain-range. Then follow mountain chains extending from the elevated Pamir plateau. The difficult approach to the mountains is increased proportionately as one moves from the west to east. At no point, however, are these completely inaccessible,and the height of the mountains within Bokhara at no point reaches the line of perpetual snow which, at this latitude, prevails at elevations of 12,000 to 13,000 feet above sea level. To the west of the Huzara meridian the country is of a flat, desert nature, and west of the Zeravshana valley the plain changes into a sandy desert gradually approaching Bokhara from the direction of Khiva, which year by year gains in some measure in its extent. This level nature of the western portion of the country is little affected by the separate small group of the Nur-Atin mountains extending within its northern parts. The principal difficulty in the movement and employment of troops within this theater of operations in any direction is not due to the particular nature of the terrain but rather to the complete lack of water in many areas. It is the lack of water that produces the desert here, and consequently the lack of any provisions locally for men and animals. Life and vegetation within the theater of operations is concentrated near the rivers and through areas artificially irrigated by waters from these rivers. These cases in the desert are usually thickly settled with people coming from the vast dry expanses, with the resultant uneven distribution of the population.
The tribal aspect of the population involves a total of four or five million persons of a quite heterogeneous nature. The Uzbeks comprise the predominant nationality in the western portions of the country. The left bank, are inhabited by Turkoman tribes. In eastern Bokhara the Tadzhik tribes predominate (Iran origin); the only oasis among these tribes in the upper course of the Kafirnighana river is dominated by the warrior mountain tribe of hunters (of Uzbek origin). In the Kulyaba and Baldzhuin area are to be encountered some Kirghiz nomad camps. In the large trading centers among these basic tribes are to be found also Persians, Jews, and Russians, particularly in the city of Bokhara and in the towns along the Amu-Darya river..
As a class, Bokhara is largely made up of small framers. The urban proletariat is in its embryonic stage. The small and middle-class bourgeois' traders are also concentrated in the larger centers. Native intelligentsia is small in number. The clergy is quite powerful and it has not lost its hold on the masses; the younger generation is not averse to the new ideology and to some extent sympathetic to the revolutionary bourgeoisie.
The educational level of the population is very low and falls still lower to the extent that one goes farther east . This low educational level is explained by the religious fanaticism of the inhabitants and their susceptibility to the agitation of the dark and ignorant clergy.
In the cultural areas the principal occupation of the masses of the rural population was farming. In the steppes - it was cattle raising. We have outlined above the general aspects of Bokhara, showing it as a country mainly lacking water. This renders its water arteries all the more important. The principal ones consist of the Zeravshan, Amu-Darya, Kafirnigan-Darya, forming a sort of boundary within which developed most of the important military operations.
Of particular importance during the impending operations were the tributaries of the Amu-Darya river, which were the main routes used in the invasion of Eastern Bokhara. A general characteristic of these tributaries was their swift, turbulent flow along with the quick rise in their waters (every 24 hours), in accordance with the daily thawing of the snow on the Hissar mountain range, where all of these tributaries have their sources.
The Western Bokhara the communications consist mainly of roads, suitable for vehicular traffic; in Eastern Bokhara the communication are practically limited to trails. The latter, in the mountain areas, frequently involved trails over precipitous overhanging rocks, and cliffs, precarious trails extending over ledges, chasms, etc. In moving over such precipitous trails there was always the danger of the enemy destroying the same in front and rear of moving detachments and of thus falling into traps. The railway system of the country consisted of a branch of the Central Asia Transcaspian railway, traversing Western Bokhara in the sector of Chardzhui up to the Zera-Bulak railway station, and of a branch of this main line to the city of Karshi. Other railway lines that had just been completed by the Russian government at the close of the World War, to Guzar - Shakhrisyabz - Kerki - Termez, had been thoroughly demolished by the local inhabitants firing the great anti-Russian movement of 1918.
There were few large cities or towns in Bokhara. The cities of Old Bokhara (capital), Karshi, Guzar, Baisun, Dushanbe, Kuliab were of political and administrative importance. Al towns were of the usual Asiatic type. The city of Old Bokhara, being the capital, was more strongly fortified. The fortifications of Bokhara consisted of a great jagged wall about 10 meters high and 5 meters thick at its base.
Although the wall was made of clay with some mixture of rocks and brick, in time it had hardened and constituted a considerable fortress, and it was easily capable of withstanding the fire of field artillery weapons. Within the city was a maze of winding, narrow streets, alleys, blind-alleys, traversed by a labyrinth of even more confusing bazaars and markets with overhead covers All of these streets and alleys led to a small open square in the center of the city. In this space stood a compact square citadel with several very high, huge towers known locally as the "Arka." The towers of the "Arka"or arcs and a number of high minarets of solid construction rose high above the general mass of small clay structures of the city, affording the enemy a number of good observation points. The outer city wall had several exits in the shape of narrow, covered passages or gates leading to the center of the city. For several kilometers the capital was surrounded by gardens and parks, suburban homes, summer palaces of the Emirs, with their own parks and ponds, huge cemeteries and walls of clay mixtures,which gave the surrounding locality the aspect of a covered, close country. The city of Kagan (or New Bokhara) was a suburb of the capital and was situated 12 kilometers from it; it was a city built on European style, connected with the capital by a branch of the railway and by a poorly constructed highway. To a larger or smaller extent, all other cities and towns of Bokhara by the nature and type of fortifications were similar to that of the capital (See sketch on page 548 - original text).
Centers of communication of strategic importance were the cities of Chardzhui (with one of the largest railway bridge in the world), Karshi, junction of routes over the shortest distances between Afghanistan and Turkestan, the terminal railway station at the city of Kerki, the fortifications of which closed the route to the left bank of the Amu-Darya river from Afghanistan to Chardzhui, Derbeng at the foot of the Ak- Kutal pass in the winding route to Eastern Bokhara and Termez. The latter fortifications closed the convenient pass leading from Bokhara to Afghanistan. In Eastern Bokhara the town of Kuliab represented a considerably important local center of communications.
The climate of the country was of a highly continental variety. In the summer the heat reached 68 degrees Reaumur. The low and marshy points, and the rice patches were breeding places of the dangerous tropical malaria, from which troops not properly acclimated suffered heavily.
Thus the nature of the theater of operations, its vastness lack of roads and lack of water, the difficult climatic conditions all this combined were bound to affect the greatly protracted and difficult operations, if the enemy were afforded sufficient time for the exploitation of all these features for his own benefit. The characteristic features of the theater of operations permitted the movement and the employment of considerable bodies of troops only in certain areas. These areas were often situated a considerable distance from one another. Hence there was the importance of the problems of communications and the difficulties involved in the organization and maintenance of the same. In the circumstances, the control of the forces could not be thoroughly regulated for days in advance, nor could special missions be assigned for each and every day in advance. In the control of the forces, much had to be left to the initiative of unit commanders, outlining to them the general plan involved, while leaving much to the personal initiative of the latter in the execution of contemplated plans. In considering the instructions issued by M.V. Frunze concerning the execution of the Bokhara operations, we note that Frunze had fully taken into consideration the nature of the terrain involved in issuing his orders. Actually, the basis of his plan consisted of an effort to bring about the destruction of the organized military forces of the enemy as quickly as possible.
The events of the Bokhara revolution continued to develop so rapidly that already by the 25th of August the commander of the front issued his orders, No. 3667, providing for the active cooperation of the Red Army forces with the armed forces of the revolutionaries. The political objective of the operation had been defined by comrade Frunze as a "revolutionary fraternal assistance to the people of Bokhara in their struggle with the despotism of the Bokhara absolute monarch." The offensive was ordered to be launched on the night of the 28-29 August. The Chardzhui group of forces was to assist the Bokhara insurgent in the taking of the city of Old Chardzui, after which it was to shift its cavalry to the crossings at Naryzyn and Burdalyk, across the Amu-Darya river, with a view to capturing all fugitives, including the Emir and members of his government, in the event that they should endeavor to seek safety by fleeing to Afghanistan through this route. With this same object in view, the city of Karakul and the Yakki-tut railway station were also to be seized. Along with these undertakings of the detachment, there had been established the control of the revolutionaries along the Amu-Darya, from the Khorez boundary up to Termez, inclusive. The commander of the Kagan group, comrade Bielov, with the receipt of the first information of the revolution at the Old Charzhui, was to move his forces against the capital and the suburban palace of the Emir of Stara- Makhassa,about 5 kilometers northeast of Bokhara, where, by means of a "decisive, crushing blow, he was to destroy all of the military forces of the Stary (Old) Bokhara government and prevent the enemy from organizing further resistance. One special mission included the capture of the Emir himself with the members of his government . The other groups and detachments were required to perform the missions assigned them in the directive of the 12th August. The mission of the Samarkand group was broadened to the extent where the 7th Infantry Regiment assigned to this group, after defeating the hostile group of forces in the Shakhrisyabz-Kitab area, was to seize the Karshi - Guzar area, in order to prevent the remnants of the force of the Shakhrisyabz district from getting to Sharabad in the eastern mountain districts.
Further events began developing within the time indicated in the orders in question. On the night of the 28th of August there was completed the concentration of all forces of the Kagan detachment. At the same time, the Bokhara revolutionaries seized the city of Old Chardzhui, and units of the Chardzhui detachment commanded by comrade Nikitin proceeded to the crossing at Amu-Darya, Narazym and Burdalyk seizing these on the 31st August. Meanwhile a special detachment consisting of the 5th Infantry, a composite company of the 8th Infantry, and a squadron of the 16th Cavalry Regiment was moved against the city of Karakul from Novy (New) Chardzhui.
The Kagan group launched its attack between 6 and 7 o'clock in the morning of the 29th of August. It advanced in two columns. The right (eastern) column included the 10th and 12th Tartar infantry regiments, the 1st Cavalry Regiment, 4 guns, the 53d Mechanized Detachment,Armored Train No. 28. This column proceeded from the city of Kagan over the highway and railway branch on the southeastern portion of the city wall where the Karshin gates were situated.
The left column (western), comprising the 1st Eastern Musulman Infantry Regiment, the infantry and cavalry regiments of the special detachment, two light field pieces situated 14 kilometers to the west of the Kagan railway station, advanced on the southwest gates of the city of Karakul. Thus the advance had been conducted simultaneously against two opposite points, which cannot be considered to have been proper, considering the small available forces at our disposal. The artillery group, consisting of a platoon of fortress 152-mm. guns mounted on platforms and a 122-mm. battery, was to support the advance of the right column (see sketch p. 555, original text).
However, during the first day of the advance it was disposed at a considerable distance away, with the result that it accomplished little. For the defense of each of the gates with the adjacent sectors of the city wall the enemy had at his disposal 2,000 to 3,000 men together with a mobile reserve outside the city, in the Stara-Makhassa area, numbering 6,000 to 8,000 men. The columns slowly advanced over the close terrain, encountering hostile fire and counterattacks, and during the first day of the advance merely reached the city fortifications, without being able to seize them. The 30th of August likewise passed without any decisive results.
On the 3lst of August the Karakul detachment and the 2nd Infantry with two batteries of artillery reached the Stary (Old) Bokhara area. On this day, control of all forces operating in the vicinity of Bokhara was unified under the commander of the First Army, C.V. Zinoviev. The latter decided to make the main effort now against the Karshin gates, an artillery preparation against which had been started back on the 30th of August, with the heavy artillery being moved up closer to the city. During the 3lst of August the commander of the group concentrated against the Karshin gates, near which at this time a breach had already been formed, almost the entire forces, leaving in the left column only the infantry regiment (1st Eastern Musulman regiment), the composite company of the 8th Infantry and the cavalry regiment of the special detachment.
At 5:00 A.M. September 1st the right column proceeded to storm the Karshin gates, which ended in success this time: after intensive street fighting, by 5:00 P.M. on the same day the city of Old (Stary) Bokhara passed in its entirety into the hands of the Soviet forces. However, the Emir was no longer in the city. Already during the night of the 3lst of August he had abandoned his capital escorted by a guard of 1,000 men, and proceeded in a northeasterly direction, to the town of Gydzh- Duvan (See Sketch on page 548 - original text).
The Katta-Kurgan and Samarkand detachments at this time were successfully executing the missions assigned them in the directive of the 12th of August. Further undertakings involved the organization of a pursuit of the Emir and those surrounding him*
* This mission was at first assumed by the commander of the First Army, G.V. Zinoviev: He pursued the Emir with a cavalry detachment up to the city of Karshi. However, he succeeded in slipping through the Red detachments and found temporary refuge in Eastern Bokhara. The capture of Bokhara and the flight of the Emir signified the victory of the Bokhara revolutionaries. The first step of the victorious Bokhara revolutionaries was the proclamation of a Bokhara peoples Soviet Republic; as was the case at Khorezme (See Sketch on p. 555 - original text).
The operation which culminated in the liquidation of the power of the Emir required less than one week, with the main objective of the undertaking being accomplished. Liberated from the age-old oppression of the reactionaries, Bokhara entered the wide path of peaceful Soviet rehabilitation. The swiftness and vigor with which the operation had been conducted and its success had been the result of that minute, thoughtful preparatory work that had always marked comrade Frunze as a military leader. The Bokhara counter-revolutionaries had suffered a crushing defeat. All subsequent operations of the Red Army in Bokhara involved the liquidation of remnants of these counter-revolutionaries. The vastness of the theater of operations, and the difficul6t conditions under which military operations had to be conducted therein had marked the operations by considerable delays. With the object of insuring the complete expulsion of the former Emir from the territory of Bokhara, who still lingered with a small group of followers first in Baisun and then at Dushanbe, and the Sovietization of Eastern Bokhara, the Soviet forces, overcoming all obstacles and unfavorable conditions of the terrain and climate in 1921, in these-called Eissar expedition, moved into the interior of Eastern Bokhara and completely drove out the Emir and his followers from the domain of the Bokhara Peoples Republic. This expedition, however, undertaken in the nature of a raid by one cavalry division with small attached infantry elements, did not afford any substantial results owing to the lack of a properly worked out plan for political and administrative functions and protection of communications. Our columns, after accomplishing several distant marches into the most outlying districts of Eastern Bokhara, upon the approach of autumn, were compelled to withdraw into winter quarters near their bases, inasmuch as they were beginning to be threatened with strategic exhaustion as a result of the poor provisions for the protection and functions of their communications. Eastern Bokhara had thus not been Sovietized, and the local counter-revolutionaries took due advantage of this fact the next year.
In 1922 the local counter-revolutionaries, taking advantage of the fact that some of the sympathizers of the revolution had abandoned it by now, once more attempted to raise their heads. They found as their leader in this venture one of the former leaders of the Young Turkish party, Enver-pasha. Appearing in Eastern Bokhara early in the spring of 1922, Enver-pasha endeavored to attract the masses of the country with the aid of Pan-Islamic slogans. This proved a failure. He gained no followers and Enver-pasha was defeated and during efforts to flee, he was killed in a skirmish with one of our detachments.
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