Simbirsk Operation

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Simbirsk Operation
Part of the Russian Civil War
DateSeptember 9 to 28, 1918
Result Red's Victory
Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1918–1937).svg Red Army Flag of Russia.svg People Army of Komuch
Flag of Bohemia.svg Czechoslovaks
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1918–1937).svg Mikhail Tukhachevsky
Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1918–1937).svg Pēteris Slavens
Flag of Russia.svg Vladimir Kappel
Flag of Bohemia.svg Stanislav Čeček
about 8300 about 11500

Simbirsk Operation (September, 9-28, 1918) - Red Army's offensive against the People Army of Komuch during the Russian Civil War.


After Capturing Kazan by White Army the frontline was not good for Whites: near the Kazan 2 - 2.5 thousand men had to hold the 100–120 km of front against about 10 thousand men in two armies (2nd and 5th) of Reds. But Whites tried to continue offensive to the railway bridge across the Volga River near Sviyazhsk. To support this advance Stanislav Čeček sent the Vladimir Kappel's detachment from the Simbirsk to Kazan. On August, 27, Kappel landed on the right bank of Volga near Sviyazhsk and tried to attack the positions of Reds, but was crushed by the counterattack of Latvian Riflemen.

The battle[edit]

Using the temporal weakness of White's Simbirsk Group, 1st Army of Reds (commander - Mikhail Tukhachevsky) on September, 9, began the offensive in Simbirsk direction. On September, 11, White's forces were pushed to the bank of Volga, and on September, 12, Simbirsk was captured by the attack from three sides. During the night of September, 14, Simbirsk Division of 1st Army crossed the Volga River and began to advance on the east.

On September, 18, Kappel's Detachment returned from Kazan (captured by Reds on September, 9) and counterattacked. Reds had to return on the right bank of Volga. During September, 18-24, Kappel tried to recapture Simbirsk, but his attacks were repulsed by Reds. After coming the 5th Army and Volga Fleet Red Forces crossed the Volga again, and crushed the Kappel's Detachment on September, 28.


After losing Kazan and Simbirsk the White Forces were demoralized. On September, 13, they left Volsk, and began to quickly retreat from the advancing 1st and 5th Armies of Reds. Simbirsk Group of Whites began its retreat on September, 29. Capturing of Kazan and Simbirsk were converted by Red's command into the strategic breakthrough of the whole front.

For the capture of Simbirsk the Simbirsk Division of Reds received the honour title "Iron".


  • Н.Е.Какурин, И.И.Вацетис "Гражданская война. 1918-1921" (N.E.Kakurin, I.I.Vacietis "Civil War. 1918-1921") - Sankt-Peterburg, "Polygon" Publishing House, 2002. ISBN 5-89173-150-9