Voronezh-Kastornoe Operation of 1919

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Voronezh-Kastornoe Operation of 1919


an offensive operation carried out by the left wing of the Soviet troops of the Southern Front against General A. I. Denikin’s White Guard cossack troops in October and November during the Civil War.

The task of the troops of the left wing of the Southern Front (commanded by A. I. Egorov and members of the Revolutionary Military Council M. M. Lashevich and J. V. Stalin), which were operating in coordinated action with the Ninth Army of the Southeastern Front (a total of 25,000-30,000 infantry and 10,000-12,000 cavalry), was to deliver a blow at the flank of the enemy’s main strike grouping, to rout the large main cavalry units of the Don Army and units of the Volunteer Army (a total of 20,000-25,000 infantry and 15,000-20,000 cavalry) in the vicinity of Voronezh, to liberate the city, and to create conditions for breaking up Denikin’s front and a subsequent offensive into the rear of the White troops that were operating along the Orel-Kursk axis of operations. After assuming the offensive, S. M. Budennyi’s cavalry corps and the troops of the Eighth Army captured Voronezh on October 24 after sustained combat, captured Li ski station on October 26, forced the Don, and by November 5, jointly with the troops of the Thirteenth Army, reached Kastornoe station. But at the limiting points of the Eighth and Ninth armies, the Whites recaptured Liski, Talovaia, Novokhopersk, and Bobrov, thereby creating a threat to Voronezh from the south.

Between November 5 and November 15, Budennyi’s corps, in coordinated action with the Eighth and Thirteenth armies, took Kastornoe by force, repulsing the Whites, who suffered great losses, to the south. On November 19, on the basis of an order of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic, the corps was expanded into the First Cavalry Army. During the same period, the Ninth Army was rein-forced with some reserve troops, B. K. Dumenko’s composite cavalry corps, and M. F. Blinov’s cavalry group. This enabled the Soviet troops to repulse the White cossack units, which sustained losses, beyond the Don. Heavy blows were struck at the enemy during the Voronezh-Kastornoe operation, which considerably weakened the White Guard cossack cavalry and drastically reduced the operational capabilities of Denikin’s troops. Toward the end of the operation, the Don and Volunteer armies were split and thrown back in various directions, while at the limiting points, a strike grouping of the two Soviet fronts was formed in the course of the operation. This strike grouping was now in a favorable starting position for developing an offensive toward the Donets Basin and Rostov. The successful beginning of the VoronezhKastornoe operation facilitated the execution of the OrelKromy operation of 1919, in which Denikin’s main forces were routed. The victories of the Soviet troops near Orel and Voronezh were the beginning of the turning point of the Civil War.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.