Volga-Caspian Military Flotilla

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Volga-Caspian Military Flotilla


a flotilla created on July 21, 1919, during the Civil War and military intervention through the merger of the Volga Military Flotilla and the Astrakhan-Caspian Military Flotilla. It was commanded by F. F. Raskol’nikov until June 1920 and by A. K. Vekman until July 1920.

In August 1919 the flotilla numbered more than 200 ships, including three auxiliary cruisers, six destroyers, three torpedo boats, four submarines, 38 gunboats, 24 patrol vessels, and six floating batteries. The forces of the Volga-Caspian Military Flotilla were divided into three detachments: the Northern Detachment, which operated jointly with the troops of the Tenth Army in the vicinity of Tsaritsyn; the Upper Astrakhan Detachment, which covered the railroads on the Chernyi lar-Vladimirovka sector and which repelled, jointly with the troops of the Eleventh Army, the attempts of the White Guards to blockade Astrakhan; and the Volga Delta Defense Detachment, which operated in the northern part of the Caspian Sea. The Volga-Caspian Military Flotilla actively participated in the Astrakhan Defense of 1919; its actions included landing operations, fire support, and laying mine fields. Later, two more detachments were formed: the Middle Astrakhan Detachment (later united with the Upper Astrakhan Detachment) and the Naval Detachment (from September 24). In late 1919 the Volga-Caspian Military Flotilla was augmented by seven destroyers and six patrol vessels transferred from the Baltic Sea. In November 1919, with the support of the flotilla, the strongpoints of the Ural White Cossacks were captured and the threat to Astrakhan from the east eliminated. In March 1920 the Volga-Caspian Military Flotilla successfully operated in the vicinity of Petrovsk (now Makhachkala) and captured Fort-Aleksandrovskii on April 5. In April 1920 the flotilla took part in the liberation of Transcaucasia and the Caspian Sea from the White Guards and interventionists. On May 1 the flotilla shifted to Baku; in early May it liberated Lenkoran’ and on May 17-18 carried out the Enzeli Operation of 1920, thus completing the liberation of the Caspian Sea from the White Guards and interventionists. In early July the flotilla was renamed the Caspian Fleet, which in the middle of July was merged with the Red Fleet of Soviet Azerbaijan into the Naval Forces of the Caspian Sea.


Makovskii, A. A., and B. M. Radchenko. Kaspiiskaia Krasnoznamennaia: Istoricheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1961.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.