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Author Topic: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War  (Read 1577 times)

Offline Mark Plant

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2022, 11:42:23 PM »
Russia banned all alcohol at the start of WWI, so by the RCW period it had not been on sale for a very long time. The Bolsheviks continued the ban. Some parts of Russia had taverns, such as Estonia, but most peasants drank homemade samogon so they had no need for expensive taverns.

Russian peasants did not need barbers. Pictures of the peasants of the time show the most appalling haircuts -- and beards -- known to man.

The larger villages had smithies, but they don't seem to be in every village, as they would be in Western Europe. What would they make? A few ploughshares, some horseshoes, some hinges. Even most of those would be bought in from the towns. The houses, for example, were made almost entirely without nails. Expensive new farm machinery was purchased by the rich landowners, but hadn't really made it to the common farmer.

Most of Russia is extremely fertile, so in times of peace peasants produced enough to be able to sell and buy in their extra needs. (It says a lot about collectivism that it managed to take one of the most fertile areas in the world and have people starve on it.) The surplus means it was a money economy by the 1910s. Education had taken hold, and a lot of the young could read. Newspapers started to be printed.

However the vast bulk of land was owned communally, and rural society had not yet split economically into farmers and trades that supported them. Every peasant farmed, and were mostly of roughly equal wealth. Ownership of individual farms had started, but not enough time had passed since emancipation for their to be a truly rich farmer, as opposed to peasant, class -- Bolshevik claims of "kulaks" owning everything notwithstanding. Exceptions were the "German" colonies and the manors of the nobility, that were often very well run and extremely profitable. Eastern Siberia was individual farms too.

My suggestion if you want a decent English look at the ins and outs of Russian society of the period, and especially peasants, is to get a copy of Orlando Figes' book "A People's Tragedy". It's 400 pages in before the Civil War even starts, and the first 100 pages before we even get to the 1905 revolution. He discusses the nature of rural life in a lot of detail.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2022, 08:03:26 AM by Mark Plant »

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2022, 05:58:35 AM »
Russian peasants did not need barbers. Pictures of the peasants of the time show the most appalling haircuts -- and beards -- known to man. “

most peasants drank homemade samogon so they had no need to expensive taverns.”

Mark, you make it sound like an alternative universe version of Norfolk minus the Wetherspoons and populated with hipsters. :D




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Offline cuprum

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2022, 12:13:05 PM »
The fence was placed in the village around the garden to prevent animals from destroying the crop.

In Russia, with the outbreak of the war, not only the sale of alcohol was banned, but also the production of moonshine.

Due to the fact that a huge number of peasants were drafted into the army, a big problem arose with the production of bread. The purchase of bread from peasants at "fixed prices" (which were much lower than market prices) was introduced under the tsar, in 1916. The peasants refused to sell bread at these prices and hid it, trying to take it to the city and sell it illegally at a commercial price. Prodrazverstka (forced sale of grain at a low state price), in fact, was introduced by the Provisional Government. But it could not actually ensure this measure in practice.

There were no shops in the village because the peasants rarely had cash. The "currency" in the village was grain.

Mills in the villages were. Or rather, they usually stood outside the settlement. Payment for work was also paid in grain.

A "fist" is a person who lends grain, a horse, or farm equipment. The calculation is also made by grain from the harvest. He could also bring goods from the city necessary for fellow villagers on order, with payment in the same grain. Many peasants did not have their own horses, and therefore were not able to carry their products to the city on their own.

The Russian village then is the agricultural way of the 16th century. All land belongs to the village community. Every year or two there is a redistribution of land between families in the community. The amount of land allocated to a family depends on the number of men in it (those who can cultivate the land). Accordingly, the peasant is not interested in caring for the land, because in a year it will no longer be his plot. His task is to get the maximum return for the moment that he owns this land. The Russian peasant is a poor peasant. According to the questionnaires of conscripts, many peasants first tasted meat only in the army. Usually they could eat it only on big holidays.
Famine in Russia was an almost constant phenomenon:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droughts_and_famines_in_Russia_and_the_Soviet_Union

Marketable grain and other products were produced in the overwhelming majority of large landlord farms. Advanced agricultural technologies were used there.

Offline Pan Marek

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2022, 02:17:58 PM »
Mark-  Thank you!   Again, your knowledge of this period is amazing.  Of course you'd recommend Figes.  I read Lincoln and Mawdsley, so the one I didn't read held the info I craved.

Cuprum-  Spacyba!  I was starting to come to the conclusion you provide.  Which is that Russia's rural economy of the very early 20th century was much like a late medieval/early renaissance economy in the west.  Which explains ALOT of my confusion up until now.

Both of you are truly indispensable to the rest of us gaming this period.

Can I get more obsequious?  Yes I can!   It just occurred to me that there isn't a "Wargamer's Guide to the RCW".   Now I know one of you lives in NZ and the other in Russia, but have either of you thought about writing (or better yet, collaborating) on such a book?  You have the knowledge!

« Last Edit: January 18, 2022, 02:24:13 PM by Pan Marek »

Offline cuprum

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2022, 03:05:51 PM »
I will add. Shortly before the First World War, Pyotr Stolypin, the Russian prime minister, began to reform agriculture in Russia. He wanted to introduce free trade in land, due to which it was planned to create large farms. But this would destroy the habitual rural community and doom the mass of the liberated rural population to begging or starvation. Weak Russian industry would not have been able to absorb such a quantity of unskilled labor. The proposed resettlement of these peasants to Siberia, with some financial support from the state, also failed - after the very first experiments in settling on the Siberian wastelands, most of the peasants began to return to their former places of residence. The Russian village met this reform with a real peasant war, with many thousands killed , executed, burned farms ...

But the indigenous Siberians were perfectly able to grow bread and other crops in Siberia. Fortunately, there was as much land here as you like and for free. Peasants in Siberia lived richly. Even then, many villages had telephones and electric lighting. There was no community here from the very beginning; in fact, the Siberian peasant was a hereditary farmer in the classical sense of the word.
But Siberians reacted extremely negatively to the wave of "emigrants" from Central Russia.

And I also forgot to mention that the main type of rural trade was fairs, held after the harvest in some large village, where city merchants brought their goods and bought products from the peasants.
Many peasants went to the city for a part-time job for the winter - they built, worked as loaders, etc., for which they already received real money.


Offline cuprum

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2022, 03:16:13 PM »
Where to find so much time to write a book?  ;)  It's not real for me now ::)

Here you will find many photos of a Little Russian/Ukrainian village: 

https://yandex.ru/images/search?text=украинское%20село%20на%20старых%20фото&from=tabbar

The direct link is not working properly. Copy the address and paste it into the address bar of your browser.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2022, 03:21:20 PM by cuprum »

Offline Pan Marek

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2022, 04:24:15 PM »
Eshche raz spacybo, moy drug!

I have read about the attempts at agricultural reform, but my serious studies of Russian history were in college, in the late 70s!  Its good to be reminded.  Your mention of "fairs" reinforces the near medieval aspects of village economy at that time.  And the reality of Siberia goes a way towards explaining White support in the region during the Civil War.

As for a book, I guess its all up to Mark!
My suggestion was mainly in jest, although such a book sure would be handy.

Offline Mark Plant

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    • Pygmy Wars : Russian Civil War and Related Stuff
Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2022, 07:53:01 PM »
I did add the "Red Army" section of my website partly to help newbies. And partly because I had found some interesting material to share.

My problem is that I tend to get sidetracked into odd pockets, and ignore the main theatres.

Offline cuprum

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2022, 05:35:02 AM »
But about the Siberian peasants who massively supported the whites, you are wrong.
Siberians, as a rule, at first reacted rather coolly to all kinds of new power - red and white. In Siberia, the Bolsheviks simply did not pursue the policy towards the peasants that they later pursued in Central Russia, at the time of their actual military encirclement and deprivation of access to most resources (the policy of war communism). In 1918, it had not yet begun, and the first food detachments in the village bought bread at fixed prices, to which the peasants were already accustomed (at that moment the money was still worth at least something). And in the near future, the Bolsheviks were thrown back from Siberia by the Czechoslovaks and the Whites.
And as a result, it was the whites who acted as the first and main offenders of the peasants here. An explosion of peasant discontent caused the forced conscription of peasants into Kolchak's army. The peasants did their best to avoid this. Then the military detachments sent by the white authorities began to massively flog with rods in public, in the central squares of the villages, the relatives of the evading conscripts - their parents and wives. The property of the evaders was confiscated.
There has never been serfdom in Siberia. Free people have always lived here, with the appropriate mentality. As a result of such a stupid policy, Kolchak immediately received 100 thousand angry red partisans in Siberia and several "internal" taiga fronts. The partisans actively attacked the railway lines, expelled the white government from rural areas. Czechoslovak, Polish, Romanian, Italian, Japanese and other units of the interventionists actively took part in the counter-partisan war, which further intensified the struggle of the partisans against the Whites.
By the way, many of these partisans were actually not "red" but "black" - they were anarchists. For example, the leaders of Rogov, Novoselov, Kalandarishvili and others. The Siberian anarchist armies outnumbered Makhno's famous armies.
After the Whites were expelled from Siberia, a guerrilla war against the Reds had already begun. But its scale was much more modest - about 50 thousand partisans fought against the Reds. Interestingly, their opponents were mostly also former Siberian partisans who entered the Red Army.

Here is a thread about Siberian partisans on my forum: http://siberia-miniatures.ru/forum/showthread.php?tid=11&fid=12&block=0

Offline FramFramson

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2022, 02:55:46 PM »
Wow, so much detailed information! You guys are always amazing!


I joined my gun with pirate swords, and sailed the seas of cyberspace.

Offline Pan Marek

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2022, 04:35:45 PM »
Cuprum-
As always, great information.  And at a level of detail that most books in English simply do not approach.

Tell me again how you shouldn't write a book?  LOL.

Offline Ignatieff

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2022, 05:25:23 PM »
Russian peasants did not need barbers. Pictures of the peasants of the time show the most appalling haircuts -- and beards -- known to man. “

most peasants drank homemade samogon so they had no need to expensive taverns.”

Mark, you make it sound like an alternative universe version of Norfolk minus the Wetherspoons and populated with hipsters. :D

You've obviously never been to North Norfolk  lol
"...and as always, we are dealing with strange forces far beyond our comprehension...."

All limitations are self imposed.  Work hard and dream big.

Offline Ignatieff

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2022, 05:26:28 PM »
Wow, so much detailed information! You guys are always amazing!

they are, aren't they.  Superb!

Offline Mark Plant

  • Mad Scientist
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    • Pygmy Wars : Russian Civil War and Related Stuff
Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2022, 01:35:43 AM »
Cuprum: I'm updating Pygmy Wars today, so I'll make some changes on the Red Partisans page.

I don't disagree with what you've written factually, but I suspect I disagree on the importance of the Siberian Partisans. While there were lots of them, they were spread thinly and with very poor weaponry. They never really threatened the Trans-Siberian Railway, although they did some minor damage to it from time to time. The Cossacks, Czechs and Japanese were kept busy defending the rail line, but didn't ever take big losses. And none of those troops were lost to Kolchak, because none of them were interested in fighting for him anyway. Kolchak's biggest transport issues were the incredible corruption in the White ranks and Semenov/Kalmykov.

Makhno captured large towns and several times seriously defeated both significant units of Whites and Reds. Antonov removed an entire province in the centre of Russia. Compared to them, what some isolated groups did in the taiga wasn't going to bother anyone much, no matter how numerous.

I also assume you are using "Kolchak" as a symbol for the White cause, rather than the man himself. The Cossacks, especially the likes of Semenov and Annenkov, were far more violent in their repressions. The large areas you talk about being lost to White control were in eastern Siberia, which were in Cossack control, and Kolchak only in name. Western Siberia was nowhere near as badly affected. Conscription also pre-dated him, although not by much.

Having said that, I will rewrite the page to reflect what you noted.

Offline cuprum

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2022, 04:41:01 AM »
To judge the effectiveness of partisan actions, one must understand that Siberia is a sparsely populated region and the population here is very unevenly distributed. Here is a map of 1914, which shows the population density (at the top, the numbers indicate how many people are on average per square verst (verst is 1.07 km)).



https://downloader.disk.yandex.ru/preview/cf4ed3eecbf78f890913ea8ac7e2e9446c6961ecfa71e7107fbc46c3a0bd5b27/61e90f96/H1hUPbvtgfkzGJaAOtY3aq7bgepDl-ADUQr0IbC0JIcMwTnplluK-Cy-zI3RN93mq_J6bpmRyOJonT3VoXnDag%3D%3D?uid=0&filename=pdf%20%2816%29.jpg&disposition=inline&hash=&limit=0&content_type=image%2Fjpeg&owner_uid=0&tknv=v2&size=1920x1080

And these are the layouts of the partisan armies in the rear of the white army:



11 - West Siberian Partisan Army
12 - Yenisei partisan army
13 - Army of Trans-Baikal partisans
14 - Amur partisan army

Here is an excerpt from an excellent article on the history of the partisan movement in Siberia with the results of the activities of the partisans:

The partisan movement ultimately played a huge role in the weakening and elimination of anti-Bolshevik regimes in Siberia. The partisans disorganized the rear, dispersed the local authorities of the “whites”, the police, and destroyed communications. Many partisan formations operating in the area of ​​the strategically important Trans-Siberian Railway kept the troops guarding it in constant tension. The guerrillas attacked stations, destroyed railways, bridges, cut off telegraph wires, organized several large train wrecks that caused great resonance. As a result, the capacity of the railway was reduced, the supply of the White armies suffered, and the plans of the "White" command were frustrated. The Siberian newspapers of the Civil War period often published reports of hostilities under the heading "On the Internal Fronts", so visible and sensitive were these military operations for the "whites".

In the fall of 1919, the Siberian partisans, according to tentative estimates of historians, diverted up to 20% of the Kolchak troops and the armed forces of the interventionists deployed on the territory of the region. At the end of September 1919, the commander of the Omsk Military District, Lieutenant General A.F. Matkovsky was forced to declare almost all of Western Siberia a theater of operations.

In numerous battles, the Siberian partisans inflicted significant damage on the enemy in terms of manpower and weapons, destroying, injuring and capturing tens of thousands of soldiers and officers. About eight thousand Kolchak soldiers voluntarily went over to the side of the partisans, including soldiers of the 43rd and 46th regiments, the teams of the Sokol armored train, the Turkestan and Stepnyak armored cars at the end of November 1919 on the territory of the Steppe Altai. At the same time, several thousand Siberian partisans were killed and wounded in battles with punitive detachments and regular units of Kolchak and foreign troops.

By the end of 1919, the partisans independently liberated a number of Siberian cities: Ilimsk (September 10), Minusinsk (September 13), Slavgorod (November 19), Kamen (November 28), Barnaul (December 10), Shcheglovsk (December 21), etc. The partisan movement reached such a scale that under the control of the "whites" there was actually only a strip along the Trans-Siberian railway up to 100-150 miles wide, along which their demoralized armies retreated.

However, the strategic (and historical) significance of the Siberian partisan movement was not only in its military, but almost to a greater extent in its socio-political results. Being predominantly peasant in its social composition (and the peasantry accounted for approximately 90% of the population of Siberia), this mass movement clearly demonstrated the narrowness of the social base of the counterrevolutionary forces, primarily the military dictatorship of the Supreme Ruler Admiral A.V. Kolchak. It was the lack of social support from the majority of the Siberian population that was one of the main reasons for the defeat of the counter-revolution in eastern Russia.

Here is the entire article:  https://zaimka.ru/larkov-shishkin-partisans/
« Last Edit: January 20, 2022, 04:47:04 AM by cuprum »

 

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