Alexey Kaledin

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Alexey Maksimovich Kaledin
General Alexey Kaledin
Born(1861-10-24)24 October 1861
Ust' Khoperskaya, Saratov Governorate, Russian Empire
Died11 February 1918(1918-02-11) (aged 56)
Novocherkassk, Russian SFSR
Allegiance Russian Empire
 Don Republic (White Movement)
Service/branchRussian Empire Imperial Russian Army
Don Republic Don Army (White Movement)
Years of service1889–1918
RankGeneral of the cavalry
Commands held12th Cavalry Division and 8th Army (WW1)
Don Army
Battles/warsRusso-Japanese War
WW1 Russian Civil War

Alexey Maksimovich Kaledin (Russian: Алексей Максимович Каледин; 24 October 1861 – 11 February 1918) was a Don Cossack Cavalry General who commanded the 12th Cavalry Division and Russian Eight Army during World War I. He also led the Don Cossack White movement in the opening stages of the Russian Civil War.

Early years[edit]

Kaledin attended the Mikhaylovskoye Artillery School and the General Staff Academy.[1]

World War I[edit]

Kaledin served as a cavalry commander at the beginning of the war, before taking over command of a cavalry corps, and rising to the rank of General of the Cavalry. He was then assigned command of the 8th Army on the Southwest Front, participated in the Brusilov offensive,[1][2] and won the Battle of Lutsk.

Kaledin spoke at the Moscow State Conference, stating "all Soviets and committees must be abolished, both in the army and in the rear." Following the Kornilov affair, Kaledin retreated back to Novocherkassk, and protection of the voisko, to avoid arrest by the Provisional Government.[3][1]

When he was 55 years old, the Cossack krug had elected Kaledin as their ataman. According to Peter Kenez, Kaledin "...thus became the first democratically chosen leader of the Cosacks since 1723."[1]

Civil War[edit]

According to Kenez, "On November 9, immediately after receiving news of the Petrograd revolution, and acting in the name of the voisko government, he invited the members of the Provisional Government to Novocherkassk to join him in organizing the anti-Bolshevik struggle." On 15 November, Mikhail Alekseyev arrived and started organizing a new army. On 20 November, the voisko declared its independence. On 5 December, Kaledin declared martial law when news came of a Red Guard detachment had been sent by the Soviet regime. Between 9 and 15 December, with the aid of the Alekseev Organization, Kaledin was able to suppress Bolshevik resistance in Rostov-on-Don, and then open the third session of the krug. On 19 December, Lavr Kornilov arrived, and by the end of the month, had reorganized the Alekseev Organization into the Volunteer Army. By January 1918, Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko was threatening Rostov and Taganrog with a force led by Sivers. On 8 February, Sivers had taken control of Taganrog, and Kornilov decided to retreat from the Don.[1]: 57–65, 74–75 

The ensuing loss of Rostov-on-the-Don and the Volunteer Army's retreat during their Ice March led Kaledin to believe that the whole situation had become hopeless. On 11 February, he resigned from his post and committed suicide by shooting himself.[4][5]

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Kenez, Peter (2004). Red Attack, White Resistance; Civil War in South Russia 1918. Washington, DC: New Academia Publishing. pp. 41–42. ISBN 9780974493442.
  2. ^ Buttar, Prit (2017). Russia's Last Gasp: The Eastern Front 1916-17. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. pp. 120, 126. ISBN 9781472824899.
  3. ^ Chamberlin, William (1935). The Russian Revolution, 1917-1921. New York: The Macmillan Company. pp. 204, 220.
  4. ^ First World - a multimedia history of world war one
  5. ^ Bourne, J. M. (2001). Who's who in World War One. Routledge. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-415-14179-6. Retrieved June 17, 2009.

External links[edit]