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Squadron. 10s of thousands await escape.

The Cossack peoples had long suffered stigmatisation, hate and horror inflicted upon them and other ethnic communities by the Bolsheviks. This was partly due to the unwavering allegiance of the Cossack to the Romanov dynasty.


Flight of the bourgeoisie from Novorossiysk in 1920 by Ivan Vladimirov.

On November 14, 1920, one of the largest flotillas in European history was moored off the bay at Sevastopol in Crimea. With the American-sponsored and armed Red Army poised to overwhelm Crimea, the impending escape of the armada included 150 ships of every size and type imaginable. Most but not all the vessels were the warships and Merchant marine vessels of Imperial Russia.


Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel with White generals, officers and the Cossacks


Baron Wrangel with doctors and nurses. 1926


It is known that the Cossack military units were a separate caste within the white movement, but they also said that General Wrangel is not just the commander-in-chief of the army, not a leader, but the holy Russian banner, which the Cossacks carried away to a foreign land and preserved there as a religious relic. One of the significant merits of Peter Wrangel is also the preservation of the main composition of the Russian Volunteer Army, which later transformed into the largest Russian émigré organization – the Russian All-Military Union. Russian people leaving their homeland wanted to serve only Russia and remained Russian in exile until the end of their lives. Many were not destined to return and see the new Russia, but in today’s Russia they remember their feat, and honor the memory of them.

Waiting to escape Bolshevism’s murderous marauders was General Pyotr Wrangel’s Russian White Army. For years the general’s incredible wandering army had fought against the the Red Terror that was bringing death and destruction to occupied Russia. Finally, overwhelmed by the Soviets financed by Jacob Schiff’s Wall Street banks, 145,693 White Russians had only the exile option to consider.


The Government of South Russia established in Sevastopol, Crimea in April 1920 The Government of South Russia. Crimea, Sevastopol, 1920. Sitting, from left to right: 1 – Chief of Staff Major General P.N. Shatilov; 2 – Astrakhan Ataman N. V. Lyakhov; 3 – Terek Ataman Lieutenant General G. A. Vdovenko; 4 – Don Ataman Lieutenant General A. P. Bogaevsky; 5 – Сommander- in-Chief of the Russian Army General P. N. Wrangel; 6 – Deputy Kuban Ataman engineer V. N. Ivanis; 7 – Assistant of Сommander- in-Chief, Head of Government A. V. Krivoshein; 8 – Acting Chairman of the Don Government Korzhenevskiy. Standing, from left to right: 1 – Acting Director of Council Affairs by Сommander- in-Chief A. G. Sergeenko-Bogokutskiy; 2 – Chief of Political Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs B. A. Tatishchev; 3 – Acting Director of Foreign Affairs Prince G. N. Trubetskoy; 6 – Chairman of the Astrakhan Government Sanji-Bayanov; 8 – Deputy Chief of the Naval Department Counter Admiral S. V. Evdokimov; 9 – Acting Chief of the Military Department Major General V. P. Nikolskiy; 10 – Acting Head of Finance B. V. Matusevich; 11 – Head of the Department of Justice Senator N. N. Tagantsev; 12 – Acting Director of the Civil Department S. D. Tverskoy; 13 – Head of the Department of Trade and Industry V. S. Nalbandov; 14 – State Comptroller N. V. Savich; 15 – Vice-Chairman of the Kuban Government Major General I. A. Zakharov; 16 – Chairman of the Terek Government Bukanovskiy; 17 – Head of the Department of Agriculture and Land Management Senator G. V. Glinka; 18 – Head of Office Supplies Lieutenant General P. E. Vilchevskiy.

Of these unfortunates officers and troops there were 5,000 sick and wounded. The throng’s gathered along Count’s Quay at Sevastopol included 15,000 Cossacks, 12,000 Cossack officers, 4,000 to 5,000 regular army troops. Assembled on the Quays of Heartbreak were more than 30,000 officers of the rear units and 10,000 army cadets.


March 22, 1920 Wrangel arrives from Constantinople to Sevastopol and on the same day he was elected as Denikin’s successor.


The Russian population welcomes the White Army and the Cossacks

The evacuation, for the most part, took place in an orderly and quiet manner. The organisation was taken care of by mainly Cossack troops and Cossack cadets. Finally, carrying as many evacuees as possible, the vast armada of exiles sailed off into the sunset under the sponsorship and protection of France.


Lieutenant General Baron Pyotr Wrangel took over the leadership of the remnants of the Volunteer Army and Cossack units, numbering about 25 thousand people, at the most difficult moment of the civil war of 1919-1921. The Red Army was advancing, and it became clear to the leaders of the White movement that the struggle for Russia was absolutely lost. Crimea remained the last bastion of the White movement in southern Russia.

The distressing evacuation was accompanied by unimaginable scenes of pathos. One has to remember that to the Cossack his horse was a family member. The sentiment between animal and man was mutual.

The scenes of devastation were beyond horror. Tens of thousands of Cossack horses that had borne their warriors throughout the 5 years long regime change insurrection were abandoned.  Fed for the last time these horses were released to fend for themselves. Many of these horses plunged into the sea in a futile attempt to follow the ships of the escaping Cossacks and war horses died in their thousands.


The loading of the military, wounded people and the civilian population of the Crimea on the ships proceeded in an orderly and fast manner. The tragedies that occurred earlier during the evacuation of the White Army and the civilian population from Odessa and Novorossiysk, when some people were thrown overboard the ship or there was a crush, pandemonium, this was not the case in Crimea. The evacuation from Crimea, organized by Wrangel, will be studied in Soviet military institutions and is being studied today as a model for conducting a military evacuation. On November 14, all ships were loaded and set off. Wrangel, before leaving Russia himself, bypassed the ports on the destroyer to make sure that the ships with the refugees were ready to go to sea. The last ships left Sevastopol on November 14, 1920.

There is a legend about a powerful young stallion that was used for transporting the White Army’s cannons. The war horse remained on its feet until the very end. The noble creature seemed to set an example for others but finally his death hour approached.


On November 14, 1920, the last ships of the White Guard fleet left the bays of Kerch and Sevastopol. General Wrangel managed to evacuate more than 145 thousand people from the Crimean peninsula, of which about five thousand were wounded and sick. From Russia, 15 thousand Cossacks, 12 thousand officers, 4-5 thousand soldiers of regular units, more than 30 thousand officers and officials of rear units, 10 thousand cadets and more than 100 thousand civilians were evacuated. General Wrangel himself left the Crimea on the cruiser “General Kornilov.”

At this point the dying horse unsteadily made its way to an escarpment overlooking the sea. After standing for a while looking seawards the creature’s legs buckled and voluntarily the battle horse plunged to the rocks far below.


Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel


This was not quite the Western rescue it seems. Before the fleet had reached the Bosporus Straits commenced the plunder by France and Britain. Attracted to the helplessness of the exiled armada the British set about pillaging whatever the Royal Navy could lay its hands on.

By the time the convoy reached a safe haven in French Occupied Tunisia only 33 of the original 150 vessels remained. Their passengers were now exiled and categorised as stateless persons.

The better conditioned remaining ships of Imperial Russia were demanded by the French and those unwanted vessels that remained were broken up where they were beached.  The Cossack peoples now set out on a 70 year long exile from their homelands.


Troops fled from Novorossiysk in the city of Tuapse are awaiting either ships or the arrival of the Red Army

Some of the dwindling numbers of surviving Cossacks were sent to the island of Lemnos. Many others were exiled to France. Other Cossacks, under the command of General Alexander Kutepov, were settled near Turkish Gallipoli.

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Several of the Russian ships moored in Bizerte, Tunisia were sold by the French to Italian and Maltese ship-owners and breaking yards.

In 1924 the French Government recognised the Soviet Union and the remaining ships of the Russian Squadron were surrendered by the French to the triumphant Bolsheviks. This betrayal led to a wave of protests throughout Europe and the surrender of the ships was not in the end implemented.


Only in one or two cases was a commander’s warhorse spared being abandoned.

On the Sevastopol quays today one will find a commemoration plaque on Count’s Pier from which the distressed fleet set sail.  The tablet commemorates those Russians who were able to depart their Motherland. They were in fact the lucky escapees.

As the Bolsheviks swept into Crimea they set about ethnically cleansing by slaughter the surviving White Russians in their tens of thousands. Little wonder that this betrayal of an entire ethnic group is unknown about in the West.  Shame is the most effective gag of all.


Monument “Exodus” In 2013, the Exodus monument was erected on the embankment of the city of Novorossiysk


MICHAEL WALSH is a worldwide journalist, broadcaster and author of 64 book titles with 36 years experience. Like other journalists of integrity, he no longer writes for corporate media, opting instead for true journalism.

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From Yalta, Evpatoria, Kerch, Feodosia, Novorossiysk and Sevastopol, over 150 thousand Russian citizens went to Constantinople on 138 Russian and foreign military and merchant ships. Among them were about seven thousand wounded soldiers and officers. After the capture of Crimea by the Red Army, the Bolsheviks began to shoot the civilian and military population of the Crimean Peninsula en masse. According to various estimates, from November 1920 to March 1921, from 60 to 120 thousand people were killed in the Crimea.

Additional information:

The first and last commander of the Russian Crimean army

Novorossiysk disaster: an atmosphere of shame and chaos

The Kerch episode of the evacuation of the Russian army from the Crimea in 1920, part II

Evacuation of Novorossiysk (1920)





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One comment

  • The atrocities committed by the Reds during this time period are unforgivable. It’s a travesty how so few in the West are aware of the genocide that was inflicted against Christians in the name of Bolshevism. What’s even more terrifying is how so few Zoomers in Russia are aware of what transpired in their own country at the hands of Jewish-led Marxists — but they’re plenty indoctrinated on how “evil” Hitler was (I became aware of this first-hand during conversations with younger generations while I was visiting Russia). What they fail to understand is that Hitler was resisting the international bankers by making Germany more independent and creating a vanguard against the Bolsheviks after witnessing them murder tens of millions of Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Christians in addition to their attempt in dismantling Germany through the Versailles Treaty.

    Nonetheless, the widespread indoctrination and increasingly lack of knowledge of history within today’s younger generation is going to erode the foundations of ethnic European nations as already seen by what’s transpired over the last couple of months across much of the West. Indoctrination and erasing history have always been the early indicators of implementing Communism.

    Liked by 2 people

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