Kazan Operation of 1918
Kazan Operation of 1918
an offensive carried out from September 5 to September 10 by the Fifth Army (commander P. A. Slaven, members of the Revolutionary Military Council B. D. Mikhailov and V. I. Mezhlauk) and the Arsk Group of the Second Army (group commander V. M. Azin) in cooperation with the Volga Military Flotilla against the White Czechs and units of the Socialists Revolutionary and White Guard “People’s Army” during the Civil War of 1918–20.
On August 7 the Socialist Revolutionary and White Guard forces and the White Czechs had repulsed the weak and poorly organized units of the Red Army and captured Kazan, creating a serious threat to the central region of Soviet Russia. On V. I. Lenin’s instructions, the best units of the Red Army and three destroyers and two floating batteries from the Baltic were sent to Kazan. On August 14 the Fifth Army was formed. Fulfilling Lenin’s directive on the necessity for the immediate liberation of Kazan, the army attacked on the right bank of the Volga and drove the enemy back to the Morkvashi-Spasskoe-Burnashevo line; the Arsk Group of the Second Army was sent toward Kazan from the northeast. On August 27 the White Guard detachment of Lieutenant Colonel V. O. Kappel’ tried to seize the bridge at Sviazhsk but was repulsed.
The Kazan operation, which aimed at defeating the Kazan grouping of the enemy (4, 000 to 4, 500 men) and capturing Kazan, was part of the general offensive of the Red Army in the Volga Region. The main attack was launched by the Fifth Army, suported by the Volga Flotilla, on both banks of the Volga, with the Arsk Group launching the secondary attack.
The strength of the Soviet troops, not counting the flotilla, wasabout 15, 000 men and 69 guns. On September 3 a workers’uprising broke out in Kazan. Although the uprising was sup-pressed, it diverted the forces of the counterrevolutionaries. On September 5–6 the Fifth Army captured the key positions of Krasnaia Gorka (ludino) and Verknhii and Nizhnii Uslon; andAzin’s group captured Kinderi and Malye Klyki. Afterwardaction died down somewhat, whereupon Lenin intervened andordered that Kazan be taken immediately. On September 10 theSoviet troops took the city with an attack from three sides, capturing 12 guns, two armored trains, and other equipment.The success of the Kazan operation shifted the initiative in theVolga Region to the Red Army.