Henrich Christoforovich Eiche (Latvian. Indriķis Eiche; September 29 (October 12) 1893, Riga — June 25, 1968, Jūrmala) — served in World War I as an officer in the Russian Imperial Army, and in 1917 was elected Chairman of the Military Revolutionary Committee of his regiment. He was a Soviet military commander, military historian, and held leading civil posts.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Eiche was born into a working-class family. He graduated from Riga Commercial Academy (1914) and studied composition via correspondence course through the Berlin Conservatory for one year. He was unable to complete his conservatory studies due to the outbreak of World War I, whereupon he was drafted into the Imperial Army and sent to Peterhof Warrant Officers’ Training School. After completing Warrant Officers’ Training School in 1915 he was sent to the front. He commanded a squadron, and was a staff captain.
After the February Revolution of 1917 he was elected to the regimental committee, and during the Russian Revolution of 1917 he was elected Chairman of the Military Revolutionary Committee of the 245th Infantry Regiment. In November 1917 he was elected to the Council of Soldiers’ Deputies of the 10th Army, and was a member of the board for the formation of the Red Guard.
He took part in suppressing the insurrection of the Polish corps under General I. R. Dovbor-Musnitsky. In March 1918 he voluntarily enlisted in the Red Army. From August 1918 to November 1919 he commanded a regiment, a brigade and the 26th Infantry Division (beginning April 1919) on the Eastern Front. From November 1919 to January 1920 he was Commander of the 5th Army.
From March 1920 to April 1921 Eiche served as Commander-in-Chief of the People's Revolutionary Army of the Far Eastern Republic. He was recalled to Moscow only after his mission was completed: i.e., the entire Far East was merged into the buffer Far Eastern Republic; all the major White Guard groups in the Far East were eliminated; the Japanese troops occupying the Far East were forced to withdraw from the Trans-Baikal, Amur and Primorye regions; and partisan units were reorganized into the regular army following the pattern of the Red Army of the time.
In 1921 he was sent to Belarus as a Commander to lead the struggle to eliminate guerilla groups and White Russian partisan units. This mission was completed by the spring of 1922. For successful discharge of his duties he was awarded the Certificate of Merit of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee.
In March 1922, upon order of the Central Committee Bureau of Organization, he was transferred from Belarus to Central Asia to counter the Basmachi Revolt in Fergana as Commander of the Fergana Region.
From 1923 until the day of his arrest in April 1938 he worked in government institutions in Moscow, including more than 12 years (beginning in 1924) in leading positions in Narkomvneshtorg - the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
In May 1938 he was arrested and convicted by the NKVD’s Counterintelligence Department on false charges of involvement in a Latvian counterrevolutionary organization and as the cousin of Robert I. Eiche, a former member of the Central Committee (sentenced to be shot, posthumously rehabilitated in the 1950s). After sentencing he first was incarcerated in the NKVD’s Lefortovo Prison in Moscow, where during interrogations he endured beatings and torture, and then he served time in the camps (gulag). After release from the camps he was in exile in the Far North. Also arrested as "the wife of an enemy of the people" was Maria Alexandrovna Eiche. She was incarcerated in Butyrka Prison. After her release she voluntarily followed her husband into exile.
Eiche was rehabilitated sixteen years later. In April 1954 the Military Board of the USSR Supreme Court repealed the decision of the NKVD Counterintelligence Department and dismissed the case for absence of the event of a crime.
Returning to Moscow after his release, as a member of the Military-Historical and Scientific Society Council of the Central Museum of the Soviet Army, Eiche was also active as a military historian and writer, devoting a great deal of time and effort to the editing of military/historical literature.
Eiche is the author of several works on the history of the Civil War in the Urals, Siberia, and the Far East.
He is buried at Moscow’s Vvedenskoye Cemetery.
Awards[edit | edit source]
For participating in all of the battles of the 245th Infantry, Berdyansk Regiment, 62nd Infantry Division, 10th Army of the Western Front from August 1915 to the end of 1917, Eiche was awarded: • Order of St. Stanislaus, 3rd class, with swords and ribbon • Order of St. Stanislaus, 2nd class, with swords • Order of St. Anne, 4th class • Order of St. Anne, 3rd class, with swords and ribbon • Order of St. Anne, 2nd class, with swords
During the years of the Civil War Eiche was awarded: • Order of the Red Banner No. 96 • Certificate of Merit of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee on the award of a gold engraved watch (as Commander of the 3rd Brigade, 26th Infantry Division, for successful operations against Kolchak in the winter of 1918 - Urals Operation) • Special Custom Award Certificate issued by the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic, as Divisional Commander of the 26th Infantry, for the successful forced crossing of the Belaya River, and the crushing defeat and capture of Kolchak's army - Birsk Operation, 1919. • Certificate of Award from the All-Russia Central Executive Committee as Commander of the Minsk region (1922)
After his release Eiche was awarded: • Order of Lenin in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Soviet regime (1967)
Selected Works[edit | edit source]
• Forced Crossing of the Belaya River by Units of the 5th Army of the Eastern Front in June 1919, Moscow-Leningrad, 1928 [Форсирование реки Белой частями 5-й армии Восточного фронта в июне 1919 г., М.- Л., 1928]; • Tactical Lessons from the Civil War, Moscow, 1931 [Тактические поучения гражданской войны, М., 1931]; • Kolchak’s Ufa Adventure, Moscow, 1966 [Уфимская авантюра Колчака, М., 1966]; • Defeated Rear, Moscow, 1966 [Опрокинутый тыл, М., 1966].
References[edit | edit source]
Literature[edit | edit source]
• Бадиков Р.А. В тени М.В. Фрунзе и В.И. Чапаева: деятельность Г.Х. Эйхе в апреле-июне 1919 г. // Российская история. 2016. № 3. — С. 111-126. In Russian. • Бадиков Р.А. Генрих Христофорович Эйхе // Вопросы истории. 2015. № 1. — С. 45-59. In Russian.
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