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How the "Russian special forces" appeared in the First World War, and for what the ataman of the "Wolf Hundred" was subsequently executed
How the "Russian special forces" appeared in the First World War, and for what the ataman of the "Wolf Hundred" was subsequently executed

In the First World War, Andrei Georgievich Shkuro became a hero: he was wounded more than one, fearlessly fighting the Germans in the interests of the Russian Empire. He also showed himself in the battles with the Red Army - as an adherent of the old system, he was an ideological opponent of the Bolshevik power. This would be enough for an objective history to be remembered as a patriot and courageous person in any system in the country. However, in the memory of Shkuro's descendants, he will forever remain a non-class enemy - a traitor who agreed to cooperate with the Nazis out of personal hatred.

For what purpose was the "Wolf Hundred" detachment created?

Shkuro Andrey Grigorievich

Shkuro (the real name of Shkura) created his "Kuban Special Purpose Horse Detachment" in the winter of 1916, having formed it in two months from Cossacks hardened in battles. The First World War was going on and dashing horsemen under the leadership of their chieftain carried out armed raids behind enemy lines, destroying carts, artillery depots, bridges and other strategic objects.

Because of the black banner on which a wolf's head was depicted, wolf fur hats, and a war cry in the form of a wolf howl, the detachment received the unofficial name "Wolf Hundred". Soon, thanks to the audacity of the mounted fighters, who captured several German officers, the Shkuro formation gained such fame from the enemy that the Germans estimated his head at 60,000 rubles.

Nevertheless, knowing the "wolf" commander personally, Baron Wrangel was skeptical of him and his Cossacks. In particular, the general said: “The activities of Colonel Shkuro are familiar to me from the Wooded Carpathians, where he headed a“partisan detachment”. This detachment consisted mainly of the worst officer elements who, for some reason, did not want to serve in their native unit. The detachment was located in the area of ​​the 18th corps, which included my division, and was distinguished by constant robberies and drunkenness in the rear. It all ended in the fact that the corps commander Krymov could not stand it - he ordered them to leave the area where the army was located."

Why Shkuro did not accept the revolution and how he ended up in emigration

Shkuro and his Cossacks

Adhering to great-power views, Andrei Grigorievich did not hesitate with the choice of which side to take after the October Revolution. True, he began to fight the Bolsheviks only from the end of the spring of 1918 - before that, having been wounded in a certain skirmish, the ataman had been recovering for several months. Another detachment, Shkuro organized near Kislovodsk, after which he began to engage in raids on parts of the Red Army, both in the territory of this city and in the region of Sevastopol and Essentuki.

However, the matter was not limited to episodic armed raids: at the beginning of the summer of 1918, the ataman's detachment occupied Stavropol, at the end of December - Essentuki, and in the early days of the new 1919 - Kislovodsk. Until October, Andrei Shkuro managed to take part in battles with Makhno, defeating his cavalry detachment; conduct joint operations with British troops in Ukraine; occupy Voronezh, capturing more than 13 thousand Red Army soldiers. In the same period, he received the rank of lieutenant general, to which he was introduced by the commander of the Volunteer Army, General Yakov Yuzefovich.

Luck turned against Shkuro after a large-scale offensive by the red units on Voronezh in October 1919. On the eleventh, the ataman with the White Guard General Mamontov had to leave the city and retreat to the south. A major defeat caused a decadent mood among the fighters - they, refusing to fight, left the detachment and returned home to their Kuban villages. A month later, Shkuro's Caucasian division, which he commanded since February 1919, numbered only half a thousand people.

The retreat continued until Sochi, then, with the surviving soldiers, Shkuro managed to evacuate to the Crimea. Here Andrei Grigorievich was entrusted at first to form a new - the Kuban army, but soon the command of the ready-made units passed to General Sergei Ulagai. The troubles did not end there, and after a series of other failures, Shkuro was dismissed from the army by General Wrangel, who disliked him. In the late spring of 1920, Andrei Grigorievich left the country.

"At least with the devil against the Bolsheviks", or how Shkuro began to cooperate with the Nazis

Skin in the Wehrmacht

Being in exile without a livelihood, the former general moved to the Paris arena of the circus, where he performed, showing the skill of horse riding. He also starred in silent films, but unlike the circus, he did not gain fame there. Who knows what the fate of this rather talented person would have been if the Second World War had not started.

Shkuro offered his help to the fascists almost immediately after the German attack on the USSR: once in the First World War he valiantly defended his homeland from it, now he believed that "even with the devil against the Bolsheviks." Together with Ataman Krasnov, Shkuro promised the Germans to form a Cossack division as part of the Wehrmacht. What the ataman did after that for three years is not known for certain, but in 1944, by special order from Himmler, Shkuro was enlisted in the rank of SS Gruppenfuehrer. In addition, he was entrusted with the command of the Cossack Troops Reserve at the SS Headquarters, he was allowed to wear a general's uniform of the German model and receive a content corresponding to the rank.

Shkuro's official activity was the training of the Cossacks to guard the camps and fight the Yugoslav partisans. He himself, being in the rank of general, never once during the Second World War, took part in real combat battles. Mindful of the success of his detachment in the Civil War, Shkuro in March 1945 made an attempt to create a similar "wolf" detachment, but these efforts were unsuccessful.

How was the fate of Shkuro after the Second World War

Photo by A.G. Shkuro, taken by the USSR Ministry of State Security after his arrest

At the end of the war, Shkuro, along with other Cossacks, was captured by the Allies, who later, following the decision of the Yalta Conference, handed them over to the Soviet Union. After a year and a half of investigation, the fascist accomplice was accused of forming White Guard detachments for an armed struggle against the Soviet regime, as well as conducting active espionage, sabotage and terrorist activities against the USSR. Based on this, the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced Shkuro to death, which took place by hanging on January 16, 1947 in Moscow.

In the civil war, Shkuro fought against the cavalry army of the Budenovites. Exactly thanks to this phenomenon, in the end, she was able to defeat all opponents.

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