Nikolai Aleksandrovich Shchors

Shchors, Nikolai Aleksandrovich

 

Born May 25 (June 6), 1895, in the settlement of Snovsk, now the city of Shchors, Chernigov Oblast, Ukrainian SSR; died Aug. 30, 1919, near the village of Beloshitsa, now the village of Shchorsovka, Korosten’ Raion, Zhitomir Oblast, Ukrainian SSR; buried in Samara, now Kuibyshev. Hero of the Civil War of 1918–20. Member of the Communist Party from 1918.

The son of a railroad engineer, Shchors graduated from a military feldsher school in Kiev in 1914 and an accelerated course at the Vil’na Military School in Poltava in 1916. He served in World War I, first as a feldsher and then as a junior officer on the Southwestern Front. He was promoted to sublieutenant in 1917.

After the October Revolution in 1917, Shchors returned to Snovsk, where he formed a partisan detachment in February 1918. In March and April he commanded a combined detachment from Novozybkov District. The detachment fought as part of the First Revolutionary Army against German interventionists. In September 1918, Shchors formed the Bogun 1st Ukrainian Soviet Regiment from partisan detachments in the Unecha region. He led the regiment in fighting against German occupation troops and supporters of the hetmán in October and November. In November, Shchors assumed command of the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Ukrainian Soviet Division, which included the Bogun and Tarashcha regiments and which liberated Chernigov, Kiev, and Fastov from the forces of the Ukrainian Directory.

On Feb. 5, 1918, Shchors was appointed commandant of Kiev and was presented with an honorary weapon by the Provisional Workers’ and Peasants’ Government of the Ukraine. He commanded the 1st Ukrainian Soviet Divison from Mar. 6 to Aug. 15, 1919. In a swift advance, the division liberated Zhitomir, Vinnitsa, and Zhmerinka from Petliura’s troops and smashed Petli-ura’s main forces in the Sarny-Rovno-Brody-Proskurov region. Attacked by Petliura and the forces of bourgeois Poland in the summer of 1919, the division defended itself heroically in the Sarny-Novograd-Volynskii-Shepetovka region. Outnumbered, however, the division was forced to withdraw to the east.

On Aug. 21, 1919, Shchors was named commander of the 44th Rifle Division, into which the 1st Ukrainian Soviet Division had been incorporated. The division stubbornly defended the Korosten’ rail junction, enabling the evacuation of Kiev and allowing the Southern Group of the Twelfth Army to escape from encirclement.

Shchors was killed as he fought in the front ranks of the Bogun Regiment. He showed himself to be a talented military commander and set an example in combat leadership. Shchors demonstrated great personal courage and skillfully trained and inspired his men.

REFERENCES

Karpenko, V. Shchors. Moscow, 1974.
Grazhdanskaia voina na Ukraine, 1918–1920: Sb. dokumentov i materialov, vols. 1 (book l)-2. Kiev, 1967.
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