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May 17, 1874|
Kiev, Kiev Governorate, Russian Empire
|Died||September 9, 1937
Russian White movement
|Service/branch||Imperial Russian Army
Russian White movement
World War I
Russian Civil War
Mikhail Konstantinovich Diterikhs (Russian: Михаи́л Константи́нович Ди́терихс; German: Michael Dieterichs; May 17, 1874, Kiev – 9 September 1937) was a general in the Imperial Russian Army and subsequently a key figure in the White movement in Siberia during the Russian Civil War, noted in particular for his monarchist and anti-Semitic views.
Diterikhs was said to be ‘a deeply religious man, the walls of whose private railway coach were plastered with icons’, and who believed that he "was waging a holy war against the Bolshevik heathens."
Diterikhs was born to a father of far German ancestry (from Bohemia) who served a general of the Russian Imperial Army in the Caucasus and a Russian noblewoman. In 1900, Diterikhs graduated from the Page Corps and was assigned a post in the Life Guards 2nd Artillery Brigade. In 1900, he graduated from the Nikolaevsky Military Academy in St. Petersburg. From 1900 to 1903 he served in various the staff positions in the Moscow Military District. In 1903 he was appointed commander of the squadron in the 3rd Dragoon Regiment.
With the start of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, Diterikhs became chief officer for special duties at the 17th Army Corps headquarters. He arrived at the front in Manchuria in August 1904, and participated in the Battle of Liaoyang, Battle of Shaho and Battle of Mukden. By the end of the war, he was a lieutenant. After the end of the war he returned to Moscow, and in 1906 was chief officer for special duties at the 7th Army Corps headquarters. The following year, he had the same position at the Kiev Military District headquarters. He was promoted to colonel in 1909. In 1910, he served as a senior aide at the Kiev Military District headquarters. From 1913, Diterikhs was head of the Mobilization Department of the Main Directorate of the General Staff.
With the start of World War I, Diterikhs was assigned as Chief of Staff for the Russian Third Army on the Southwestern Front under the command of General Aleksei Brusilov, with whom he assisted in planning the Brusilov Offensive in August 1916. In September of the same year, he commanded a Russian expeditionary force in Thessaloniki on the Macedonian front in support of the Serbian Army.
After the February Revolution, Diterikhs was recalled to Russia. In August 1917 the Russian Provisional Government offered Diterikhs the position of Minister of War, which he refused. By November 3, 1917, Diterikhs was promoted to the chief of staff of the Russian army's headquarters, but managed to escape arrest during the Bolshevik revolution. Diterikhs escaped to Kiev, then made his way to Siberia where the Czechoslovak Legions asked him to become their chief of staff. He helped the Czech Legion to organize their first resistance in May 1918, and commanded their Irkutsk-Chita-Vladivostok armed group.
Diterikhs was ordered by Admiral Kolchak to arrest the Ufa directory but delayed his move. After a few days on November 26, 1918 he finally agreed to obey to Kolchak's order and simultaneously resigned from the Czech Legion after a period of tense relations.
From January to July 1919 Diterikhs personally supervised the Sokolov's investigation of the murder of Tsar Nicholas II. He later published a book on the subject when already living abroad titled The Murder of the Royal Family and members of the House of Romanoffs in the Urals (Убийство Царской семьи и членов Дома Романовых на Урале), in which he claimed that the execution of the Romanoffs was a ritual murder.
In July 1919 Diterikhs took command of the Siberian Army of Admiral Kolchak. He assisted in creation of various paramilitary militias in support of the White movement and the Russian Orthodox Church against the Bolsheviks. In September 1919 he commanded Admiral Kolchak’s last successful offensive against the Red Army, the Toblsk Operation. However, in December 1919 he resigned after a bitter quarrel with Kolchak and emigrated to Harbin in Manchuria.
Periodically Diterikhs figured in the negotiations between the Provisional Priamurye Government and other White forces. On June 8, 1922, Diterikhs returned to take over the Army of Verzhbitski as well as the civil administration. Based in the Amur Krai, Diterikhs proceeded to reorganize the army and civil government, much in the way General Pyotr Wrangel had done in the Crimea two years earlier. Taking a hands-on approach, Diterikhs made efforts to enlist the support of the local population for his cause, calling his battle a religious crusade against Bolshevism. He had also tried, in vain, to convince the Japanese not to withdraw their military support.
Diterikhs founded the last Zemsky Sobor on Russian soil on July 23, 1922. On August 8, 1922, the sobor declared that the throne of Russia belongs to the House of Romanov in the person of Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich Romanov. It also named Diterikhs as the ruler of the Provisional Priamur Government and its armed forces. On October 25, 1922, the Bolsheviks defeated Diterikhs's army, forcing an evacuation from Vladivostok to China and Korea via Japanese ships.
After May 1923 Diterikhs moved from a military refugee camp to Harbin where many White emigres settled. He became the head of the Far East chapter of the Russian All-Military Union organization. Diterikhs died in Shanghai in 1937, where he was buried.
- Order of St. Stanislaus 3rd degree, 1902
- Order of St. Anne 3rd degree with swords and bow, 1904 (Battle of Liaoyang)
- Order of St Vladimir, 4th degree with swords and bow, 1906
- Order of St. Stanislaus 2nd degree with swords, 1905 (Battle of Mukden)
- Order of St. Anne 2nd degree with swords, 1905
- Order of St. Stanislaus 1st degree with swords, 1915
- Order of White Eagle 2nd Class with Swords, 1916 (Serbia)
- Croix de Guerre, with palm branch, 1916 (France)
- Order of St Vladimir, 2nd degree with swords, 1917
- Legion of Honor, Officer Cross, 1917 (France)
- Order of the Falcon, Military Division with Swords, 1919 (Czechoslovakia)
- Simon Reznik, "Blood Libel in Russia" 2000
- M. Dieterichs, "The Murder of the Tsar's Family" vol. I p.388:"Шайка циммервальдовских революционеров Израиля почувствовала себя полными, свободными и всесильными хозяевами водворения в России царства религии Лжи, опыта, неудавшегося их племенным предкам в Израиле. Начался тот неудержимый разгром жизни былой могучей и сильной духом страны, который поверг ее в современное притупленное, придушенное состояние. Началась та бесконечная Вальпургиева ночь, пляска диких и сатанинских социалистических экспериментов, которая бросила обезумевших и изголодавшихся людей в погоне за куском хлеба в кровавую Антихристову борьбу: брата на брата, отца на сына, сына на мать и матери на дочь. И в триумфе своей победы, упиваясь успехом, вдохновители изуверы готовы крикнуть России: "Мы распяли вашу Россию, мы распяли вашу идеологию...".
- Jamie, Bisher (2005). White Terror: Cossack warlords of the Trans-Siberian. Abingdon, Oxon, England: Routledge. p. 343. ISBN 0-203-34186-4.
- Czech order database