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Sergei Wojciechowski
Sergei Wojciechowski as Army General of the Czechoslovak Republic, 1938
Born (1883-10-16)October 16, 1883
Died April 7, 1951(1951-04-07) (aged 76)
Place of birth Vitebsk Russian Empire now Belarus
Place of death Irkutsk
Allegiance  Russian Empire
 Czechoslovakia
Service/branch Russian Army
White Army
Czechoslovak Army
Years of service 1902-1939
Rank General (from 1917)
Battles/wars
World War I
Russian Civil War
Awards Order of St. Stanislaus 2nd class
Order of St. Anne 2nd class
Order of St. George 4th class
Order of St. Vladimir 4th class
Order of the White Lion 3rd class(1997)
Commander of the Legion of Honor
Order of St. Sava
Czechoslovak Military Cross

Sergei Wojciechowski (Russian: Серге́й Никола́евич Войцехо́вский, Czech language: Sergej Nikolajevič Vojcechovský

October 16, 1883, Vitebsk - April 7, 1951) was a Colonel of Russian Army, Major-General in the White movement, Czechoslovak Army general. Russian and Czechoslovakian military commander, Major-General and one of the leaders of the White movement in Siberia. Participant of the Great Siberian Ice March.

Biography[]

Early life and career[]

He graduated from Technical High School in Velikiye Luki (1902), Constantine Artillery School. [Konstantinovskoe Artilleriiskoe Uchilishche], St. Petersburg (1904) and the Imperial Nicholas Military Academy (1912).

After graduation he served in the 2nd Artillery Brigade of the 20th Infantry Division 1st Caucasian Corps
  • (1904-1905) Inspector Training Division
  • (1905-1907) Senior officer of the 3rd Battery
  • (1907-1912) Inspector Training Division 5-Infantry Artillery Division in Bialystok, adjutant commander of an artillery division.
  • (1912-1913) Served in the 1st Grenadier Brigade, while he taught tactics at the Alexander Military School and graduated from flying school.
  • (1913) (Apr-Oct) Served in the headquarters of the Moscow Military District.
  • (1913-1914) Company commander in the 122nd Tambov Infantry Regiment of the 10th Army.
Participant in the First World War
  • Aug 1914-Nov 1915 Senior aide staff in the 69th Infantry Division,
  • Nov 1915-Jan 1917 Staff officer for assignments in the headquarters of 20 Corps.
  • Jan 1917-Dec 1917 Chief of Staff, 126th Infantry Division.
  • Since Aug 1917 Chief of Staff of the 1 st Czechoslovak division in the Russian army (First Hussite Rifle Division).

Wounded and was awarded several medals in the fighting in the Carpathians and the Dnieper basin.

Promotions
  • 1914 Captain
  • 1916 Lieutenant Colonel

Czechoslovak Service in Russia[]

From December 1917 he was Commanding Officer 3rd Rifle Regiment (of Jan Žižka z Trocnova) (took office in February 1918).

From May 1918 he was Senior military commander of the Czechoslovak Legion in the area of Chelyabinsk and was also a member of the Military Collegium of the Provisional Executive Committee of the Czecho-Slovak army in Russia: a body heading the Czechoslovak armed forces that opposed the Bolsheviks.

During the night of 26 to 27 May 1918, commanding the 2nd and 3rd Czechoslovak infantry regiments, he took Chelyabinsk with no losses. On 27 May 1918 he was appointed Commander of the army units of the Chelyabinsk and Ural front.

As a result of hostilities in May - June 1918 in Chelyabinsk he was joined by the troops of the Siberian Tatar group of Czechoslovak troops under the command of Czech general Rudolph Gaida.

On 11 June 1918 he was promoted, by decision of the Chelyabinsk branch of the Czechoslovak National Council, to the rank of colonel and was appointed to lead the Western Group of Forces (2nd and 3rd Czechoslovak Rifle Regiments and the Kurgan infantry battalion).

In June 1918 he took Troitsk and Zlatoust, then in July was sent to the Urals. After taking Yekaterinburg on July 25 - he stayed in Yekaterinburg.

In August–September 1918 his group was expanded by groups from the 2nd Infantry Division and was then fighting in the area of Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Tagil, Kungur and Tyumen.

Colonel Wojciechowski personally led the battles to capture the Verkh-Neyvinsky plant, leading a group of Czechs. They moved along the east coast of Tavatuy Lake and took Nizhny Tagil.

On 17 October 1918 "for distinction in combat and distinguished service" he was promoted by the Czechoslovak National Council to major-general and appointed commander of the Samara group of troops of the Government Directorate.

He commanded defensive battles in the Volga region: not only did he stop the advance of the Red forces, but he threw them back across the Ik River, securing a firmer footing on the white Samara front. In an era of increasing contrasts between the command of the Czechoslovak army and the Supreme Ruler Aleksandr Kolchak he supported the latter.

Army General under Admiral Kolchak[]

On 8 March 1919 he returned to the Russian service (in the army of the Supreme ruler of Kolchak) with the rank of major-general. He was appointed commander of the 2-m Ufa Corps, which headed part of the White Russian forces in the spring offensive of 1919, in the battles of Ufa, Zlatoust and Chelyabinsk. Major-general Wojciechowski was awarded the Order of St. George 4th degree in July 1919 for having captured Chelyabinsk, Troitsk, Chrysostom, and Yekaterinburg in 1918.

From August 1919 he was Commander of the Ufa group of troops. During the Tobolsk White offensive on 1 September 1919 despite the plight of his right flank, he completely fulfilled his task of flanking the 27th Red Infantry Division. Then he turned his force northwards during the battle and destroyed the enemy on the Siberian Army front, than let her go ahead, although it is early in the course of the failed counter-attack. During this period on 12 September 1919 Major-general Wojciechowski was awarded the Order of St. George in the 3rd degree.

From 1 October 1919 he was Commander of the 2nd Army. As a supporter of strict discipline he personally shot and killed, on 20 November 1919 in the village of Ust-Tarka, Major-General P. P. Grivin for unauthorized abandonment of his front that forced the retreat of Wojciechowski's southern group. Then the troops appointed a new commander and he ordered them to return to the abandoned position.

The Great Siberian Ice March[]

After the death of General Vladimir Kappel on 25 January 1920 during the Great Siberian Ice March, Major-General Wojciechowski succeeded him as Chief of the Eastern Front.[1] He supervised the entrance of the White Army into Irkutsk and on 30 January 1920 destroyed the red troops in that area and on 1 February 1920 also took the suburb of Cherm. Later, he led fierce fighting near Irkutsk, where his army was weakened by an epidemic of typhus. Kolchak demanded the surrender of the reds and the gold reserves, and the supply of the white troops with food, fodder, and warm clothing. On hearing that Kolchak had been shot, Major-General Wojciechowski did not storm Irkutsk: instead two Infantry units skirted the city and the Angara river up to Lake Baikal and on Feb. 14 in a surprise attack floated troops across from the eastern shore. He brought out the remnants of Kolchak's troops across Lake Baikal.

On 20 February 1920, General Grigory Semyonov appointed him commander of the Russian eastern regions.

From the 5th to 6 March 1920, Major-General Wojciechowski successfully withdrew his forces from the area around Krasnoyarsk.

But in May, 1920, Wojciechowski was seconded to the Crimea to establish a connection with the Armed Forces of South Russia, becoming the Army Reserve of General Wrangel. In November 1920, together with his troops he was evacuated to Constantinople, and then moved to Czechoslovakia.

Army General of the Czechoslovak Republic[]

On 1 May 1921 he was appointed to serve in the Czechoslovak army and served in different posts in the following years as follows:

  • Sep 1921 - Feb 1922 Commander of the 24th infantry Brigade.
  • Feb 1922 - 1924 Deputy Commander of the Subcarpathian Military Region in Uzhgorod
  • 1924 - 1927 Commander of the 9th infantry division in Trnava
  • 1927 - 1935 Head of the Land of the military district in Brno
  • 1935 - 1938 Head of the Prague military district.

On 30 December 1929 was promoted to the rank of Army General.

In September and October 1938 he was in command of the 1st Czechoslovak Army. During the Munich crisis of 1938 he took an active anti-capitulatory position (at that time one of the advocates of surrender was General Jan Syrový) and for that in April 1939 he was dismissed.

In 1939 - 1943 he was a member of the Russian Armed Services Union (EMRO). In 1939, after Germany's occupation of Czechoslovakia, he created and headed an underground organization called Obrana národa ("Defence of the nation"). He was under surveillance by the Gestapo and was a member of the underground Czechoslovak government where he served as Minister of War.

Post-War fate[]

Until May 1945 Wojciechowski was in Prague. On 12 May 1945 he was arrested by the Soviet counterintelligence SMERSH and 30 May 1945 sent to Moscow and held in Butyrka prison. The NKVD of the Soviet Union charged him with involvement in an "anti-Soviet organization" namely the Russian All-Military Union, which was aimed at an armed overthrow of Soviet power and the organization of terrorist acts against the leaders of the Soviet Communist Party and government". He was convicted on 15 September 1945 to 10 years in prison.

Until March 1946 he was held in Butyrka then in Unzha camp (nearest station Sukhobezvodnaya on the Gorky Railway). From 25 May 1949 he was at the MVD Ozerlag (Lake Labour Camp) Special Camp No. 7, Tayshet, Irkutsk Region. Due to poor health and old age he worked as a medical orderly in the camp hospital.

He died in the camp on 7 April 1951 from "pulmonary tuberculosis and exhaustion". He was buried in the cemetery of the Central Hospital Special Camp No. 1, near the village of Shevchenko, Tayshet district of the Irkutsk region. The Czechoslovak government never protested against the imprisonment of Wojciechowski or other former adherents of the Russian White Guard.

Decorations[]

Awarded by Imperial Russia:

Awarded by Czechoslovakia:

  • The Order of the Sokol (Řád sokola): with swords

Awarded by France:

Awarded by Yugoslavia:

Awarded by Czech Republic:

References[]

  1. (Kappel with an order dated 21 January 1920 handed Command to Wojciechowski)

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