Military Wiki
Kharkiv Operation (December 1919)
Part of the Southern Front of the Russian Civil War
Parade of Red Army in Harkov 1920 by unknown.jpg
Parade of the Red Army in Kharkiv
DateNovember 24 - December 12, 1919
LocationKharkiv Oblast, Ukraine - Belgorod Oblast, Russia
Result Red Army victory
Russia Volunteer Army
Don Republic Don Army
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Red Army
Commanders and leaders
Russia Anton Denikin
Russia May-Mayevsky
Don Republic Konstantin Mamontov
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Alexander Yegorov
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Anatoliy Gekker
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Semyon Budyonny
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Ieronim Uborevich
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Grigori Sokolnikov
47,000 bayonets,
23,000 sabers,
297 guns,
1100 machine guns.
58,000 bayonets,
13,000 sabers,
455 guns,
1,661 machine guns.

The Kharkov operation (November 24 - December 12, 1919) was an offensive during the Russian Civil War by the Southern Front of the Red Army under command of Alexander Yegorov, against the White Guard troops of Anton Denikin.


Having successfully conducted the Orel–Kursk and Voronezh-Kastornensk Operations operations, the Soviet troops of the Southern Front, by November 24, had reached the line north of Sumy - Borki - Oboyan - Stary Oskol - Liski - Bobrov. The command of the Southern Front now planned the pursuit of the enemy in the Kharkiv direction and its destruction. The main attack was to be executed by the 14th Army (Ieronim Uborevich) with the task of seizing the area of Kharkiv. The 13th Army (Anatoliy Gekker), in cooperation with the 1st Cavalry Army (Semyon Budyonny), was to pursue Denikin's troops and seize Kupiansk. The 8th Army (Grigori Sokolnikov) was to launch an attack against Starobelsk.

The Battle[]

On November 25, the First Cavalry Army captured Novy Oskol, and on November 28, the 14th Army captured Sumy.
But on December 3, Mamontov's Corps launched a counterattack, first at the junction of the 13th and 8th Armies, and then into the flank of the First Cavalry Army. In fierce battles, the First Cavalry Army in cooperation with units of the 13th Army, halted the advance of the enemy to the North and inflicted a heavy defeat on the Don Corps in the area of Biryuch and Novy Oskol. Pursuing the defeated White troops, the 13th Army occupied Vovchansk on December 8, and parts of the 1st Cavalry Army Valuyki on December 9. On December 4, the 14th Army captured Akhtyrka, on December 6, Krasnokutsk, and on December 7 Belgorod. On December 4, the 8th Army captured Pavlovsk.

The Soviet command now decided to surround the enemy's Kharkiv Group by directing the forces of the 14th Army from the area of Akhtyrka in the southeastern direction, the 13th Army from the area of Vovchansk in the south-west direction, and the 1st Cavalry Army was tasked with striking from Valuyki towards Kupiansk. The threat of encirclement forced the White Army to give up its stubborn resistance and withdraw. The 14th Army took Valky on December 9, and Merefa on December 11, cutting off the enemy's escape route to the south. The Denikin's attempt to launch a counterattack from the area of Krasnohrad was thwarted by partisan actions. In the night of December 12, the Latvian and 8th Cavalry divisions entered the outskirts of Kharkiv, and in the afternoon the remaining White troops encircled in the city capitulated.


This successful operation allowed the Southern Front to continue their offensive against the Donbass, to sever the Volunteer and Don armies and to create a threat to their rear.


  • This is a translation of an article in the Russian Wikipedia, Харьковская операция (декабрь 1919).

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