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Black Baron

19 May 2015

Author : ivgheny-kosthin


Perhaps the only White division fighting in the Russian Civil War that stood out so much with the intensity of its attributes and diversity in participants was the Partisan division, which evolved into the army of ataman Annenkov. According to the Division’s tradition, every volunteer covered his chest or wrist with a tattoo of an Orthodox Cross, skull with crossbones, or a snake bizarrely wrapped across the body. Some soldiers even had “God with us and Ataman Annenkov” tattooed.

Volunteers with such tattoos agreed that in the case of captivity, they wouldn’t be spared.

A nostalgic love for the old Imperial Army inspired Boris Vladimirovich Annenkov to create the Black Hussars Regiment (following the example of the former 5th Hussar Regiment of Alexandria), Blue Lancers Regiment (same as the 10th Lancers Regiment of Odessa), cuirassiers, dragoons and “Leib Ataman” regiments. Despite the need of resources and constant fighting operations, Annenkov was able to equip his army in an authentic form.

The Division’s flag was a black canvas covered with a skull and crossbones reading “God with us.” The same slogan was put on all the army’s armoured cars and carriages.

Hussars were wearing black gymnasterkas (double breasted shirt tunic), “chakchiry” (so-called hussar pants) with silver stripes and pelisses decorated with the white cords . The peaked cap also depicted skulls instead of the cockade and rosettes on the boots too.

The Cossacks of Ataman’s regiment wore papakhas, silver skulls on the gymnasterka’s sleeves, patched lapels, lampasses on the trousers and a monogrammed “AA” (“Ataman Annenkov”) on the shoulder strap.

When Russian people suffered Bolshevism oppression
Our little troop was raising riot replication

We left our homes and wives and mothers
We fought with Reds we wanted rest for others…

Two years rebutting the dark force, our deaths were counting hundreds
Another hero’s death, under the bullet of the devil’s hunters.

Alas, capricious fate is stronger
The dope’s still poisons, the victory seems longer

And he Kolchak the choice of rich,
Was executed in Irkutsk by slaughter’s shoot

We fought in Semirechye, having five fronts owned
But seemed that judgement of The Lord has almost been performed

And we had left for Selkinskie tops
We dragged our cannons and machines and bombs.

Without bread, without home, an anguish path without light,
Exhausted on the road, in snow we trembled through the night.

Retreating step by step, we took the way to border
Reflecting the attacks of Reds with proper honor.

-B.V. Annenkov

Boris Annenkov (Feb. 9, 1889 – August 25, 1927 , Semipalatinsk) – Major General, a member of the First World War and the Civil War, Ataman of Siberian Cossack army, the commander of a Single army of Semirechensk.


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