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Author Topic: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War  (Read 1584 times)

Offline cuprum

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2022, 05:42:00 AM »
A few photos of the results of the activities of the partisans:









As for terror, every civil war has it, especially where there is a massive guerrilla war. I see no point in discussing this topic here. Suffice it to say that, unlike many other leaders of the White movement, Kolchak's status as a war criminal was not removed in court and is still recognized as such at the state level.
And for clarity, here are fragments from the order of the governor of the Yenisei and part of the Irkutsk provinces, Lieutenant General S.N. Rozanov (this is by no means a Cossack ataman) to his troops involved in the fight against partisans:

"To the chiefs of military detachments operating in the region of the uprising:

1. When occupying villages previously captured by robbers, demand the extradition of their leaders; if this does not happen, and there is reliable information about the availability of such, - shoot <every> tenth.

2. Villages, the population of which will meet government troops with weapons, burn; to shoot the adult male population without exception; property, horses, carts, bread, and so on, to be taken away in favor of the treasury.

<...>
6. Take hostages among the population, in case of action by fellow villagers directed against government troops, shoot hostages mercilessly "
« Last Edit: January 20, 2022, 06:07:31 AM by cuprum »

Offline Mark Plant

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2022, 09:14:08 AM »
Given that all sides in the RCW routinely shot prisoners, even torturing them first, the behaviour of the Whites against Siberian partisans was fairly standard. The behaviour of partisans towards captured officers or interventionists was usually a lot worse than shooting every tenth.

I'm not sure who you are trying to persuade at the moment though Cuprum. I accept that White atrocities were a driving force behind the partisan movement. OK, I think the Cossacks were the worst culprits (and S.N. Rozanov was in a Cossack area, if I read my sources right) but we all know the rest of the Whites weren't angels.

One of the reasons I like to game the RCW is that I genuinely don't care who wins -- they were all foul in real life.

Partisans are one of those cultural issues, to me. Forgive me for generalising, but for historical reasons Russians want to believe that partisans -- as a reflection of the popular mood of the people -- are also an effective military force.

I've read quite carefully on this, and my conclusion is that partisans are a pain for the occupying army, but rarely of major military significance. This applies in general, not just the RCW. Such as WWII partisans: talked up by the Russian and French for political reasons, but not by the Germans -- who were the ones who had to deal with them.

Offline cuprum

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2022, 10:03:35 AM »
We all recently witnessed how the most modern army in the world turned out to be powerless against poorly armed and trained partisans)))

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2022, 11:31:15 AM »
Witnessed it more than once in the past 50 years as it happens. ;)

Of course there was another intervention into Afghanistan in recent memory by another one time super power that didn’t work out as planned.
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Offline cuprum

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2022, 11:37:16 AM »
Partisans rarely win battles, but often wars)))
In my opinion, there is only one way to win a guerrilla war - to win the sympathy of the population to your side. Terror (especially massive and indiscriminate) is usually ineffective, and often vice versa - it only kindles resistance.

As for the USSR, they managed to effectively overcome the resistance of the Basmachi in Central Asia.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2022, 11:43:53 AM by cuprum »

Offline trev

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2022, 02:37:50 PM »
Loads more great information and opinions chaps.  Thanks for the scenery links. 

On partisans, I would say that there have been far too many instances were irregular warfare has been a major factor in a conflict to dismiss it as insignificant.  Not that I think Mark really did that. 

Also, if there is a fetishisation of partisans I'd say it's probably by us wargamers.  We like to have our toys on the table, so partisans, who probably mostly fought against soft targets, can become some sort of rough terrain specialist light infantry. 

Online doctorphalanx

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2022, 03:17:17 PM »
Thanks to everyone who has commented on scenery and/or broadened the thread with background information. I guess some people just game but I always like to explore and understand the historical aspects etc, so this is very much appreciated.

Offline Mark Plant

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2022, 01:19:43 AM »
Back to Don terrain.

The steppe lands can be hard to determine. They are mostly flat, when standing on them, and many of them are just that. But many of them are cut by ravines (balka) that are a pain to model on a table, but give interesting games.

For example this is the land just west of Volgagrad, that was the scene of three major sieges of the city in the RCW: https://maps.vlasenko.net/smtm100/m-38-113.jpg

It's a pain to fight through the Russian names, but when you do you can use Google earth to "see" the landscape e.g. heading into modern Studeno-Yablonka which is 53 98 by 44 53 on the Soviet topographic map.

Some things have changed -- the Volga is dammed, many of the towns are much bigger. But the villages are often remarkably similar to what they were. In some areas there seem to be more trees than there were 100 years ago. People no longer cut them down for building and firewood, for a start.

But if you really have no idea what you are trying to recreate, Google street view is a treat.

Online doctorphalanx

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2022, 09:02:41 AM »
Mark, some of the street view spots on Google Earth are absolutely brilliant for seeing what villages really look like. And although much of the land is flat, I see there are areas where the undulations in the ground are significant enough to count.

Offline FramFramson

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2022, 05:51:50 PM »
Leaving the question of terror tactics aside for the moment, a partisan or guerrilla force's effectiveness will often depend on how much external support it can obtain.

In the modern era, very few unsupported partisan operations were militarily effective in a larger conflict (though the Yugoslav partisans of WWII are a very notable exception), but ones with external supply lines can make a big difference.

In the Russian context it's interesting to look at how much external support various the partisan groups were able to obtain, and how directly that affected their relative effectiveness as a military force. Especially since you see everything from irregular or raiding units from a main army, all the way down to barely-armed untrained civilians.

It can also be difficult to assess that effectiveness, as an occupying force will often be unclear or deny the effect that partisan activity is having, so calculating exactly how many additional military units the occupying armies had to devote for anti-partisan activity (and thus how effective the partisans were) can be a tough question! This is, in my opinion, the main purpose of partisans when they are a smaller part of a larger war, and are thus an adjunct to the regular army. This is the situation we tend to see in the Russian Civil War because it is a larger conflict, even though it had a relatively high number of under-supplied and under-trained troops, as well as many irregular units, and even semi-independent warlord factions.

However in situations where the ENTIRE war is a war of occupation against guerrillas, the math is more about the cost of that occupation to the occupier, though even in that case, the effectiveness of the guerrillas will still depend very heavily on how much outside support they can obtain.


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Offline Mark Plant

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Re: 28mm scenery for Russian Civil War
« Reply #40 on: January 21, 2022, 08:47:55 PM »
Most of the partisans in the RCW were motivated by a desire for everyone else to leave them alone. Generally they weren't a major problem to an occupying force if they didn't cause trouble. That's not the same as no problem, but resistant peasants who didn't go looking for trouble could usually be ignored.

The Whites didn't spend any effort fighting most of the large "Green" areas as they headed towards Moscow in 1919. They did take some food and fodder, but they didn't attempt to tax or conscript. That meant the villages didn't explode into open revolt. They weren't safe places for isolated soldiers though.

Makhno was different, and it is why he is famous -- and Zelenyi, who controlled an enormous area, is not. Being politically motivated, Makhno didn't just want to be left alone. He actively went looking to attack White power. He actually had an army, not just some partisans, and was prepared to fight in the open.

The Reds had the same issues, with reverse politics. Zelenyi was also mostly ignored by the Soviets as they fought the AFSR and Poles, because he wasn't an active threat. But the Cossack revolts in the Soviet zones were politically motivated, and quickly became significant military problems as well. Cossack partisans quickly became Cossack armies.

 

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