Why British financed Basmachi actually

History 20/01/20 Why British financed Basmachi actually

In Soviet historiography, the Basmachi were considered only as a movement directed against Soviet power in Central Asia. Scientists of the independent States, formerly part of the Soviet Union, are now trying to introduce Basmachi as heroes of the national liberation struggle. But there are facts that allows you to enter the Basmachi in a broader context.

daring riders

first, it is not necessary to submit the Basmachi as the people’s Avengers, they were headed by Bai (rich) and terrorized ordinary farmers (peasants). In addition, the Basmachi were not just a gang of bandits, and major groups in hundreds and thousands of people, well armed, had at its disposal all the necessary up to machine guns and artillery. As of 1920, the Basmachi movement in its ranks, there were 30 000 people, operating throughout Turkestan, as it was then called the territory, including present-day Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. The Soviet government during the period from 1918 to 1938 attracted to the struggle with the Basmachi in total to 160,000 red army, the KGB, police and local volunteers. Against the robber bands used aircraft, artillery, armored cars, tanks and platform soles.

the robber bands attacked the railway, destroyed most of the infrastructure, including irrigation systems. Special attention was paid to the destruction of the cotton growers, and cotton.

Where did the robber bands received weapons and money? From the UK, through Afghanistan, controlled by the British. According to the archives, including those received from the foreign Office, Britain gave the Basmachi only in 1918, 100 million rubles, 20,000 rifles, 40 machine guns, 16 mountain guns and several million rounds of ammunition. To understand, look at the performance characteristics of the weapons. Rifle “Lee-Enfield” SMLE Mk III that means “short repeating rifle Lee-Enfield”, the third sample, adopted by the British army in 1907, 7.7 mm caliber, rate of fire 20-30 rounds per minute, the maximum firing range of 1829 m, the sighting range — 914. m “three-line” Mosin that was available to the red army: 7.62 mm rate of fire 10 rounds per minute, maximum and effective range — 2000 m. entered service in the late nineteenth century, will be modernized in the 1930s, when the main forces of the Basmachi are already defeated, and the remains expelled abroad — in Afghanistan and Iran. Guns “Lewis” was so good that at the beginning of world war II, they were used in battles with the Nazis in the West, and in the beginning of the great Patriotic war on the Eastern front. There is a photo with the famous parade of November 7, 1941 on red square where the Soviet fighters are with “Lewis” on his shoulders. Mountain guns of large caliber are well proven in India.

Britain immediately after the revolution in February 1917 created the “British military mission to Turkestan”, which was headed by major General Malleson. British agents and military advisers openly acted in October of 1917 in Turkestan, conducting sabotage and teaching the tactics of the robber bands. No self-respecting kurbashi not without British officers in his immediate environment.

In the struggle against Soviet power in Central Asia in 1918, took the direct participation of military units of the British army: a battalion of the 19th Punjab and several mouth-Yorkshire and Hampshire infantry regiments, the 28th light cavalry regiment, a platoon of the 44th light field artillery battery, machine gun team.

Why did the British all this was necessary?

In the struggle with the Soviet authorities — an obvious, but not the complete answer. Interest in Central Asia, the British showed to the late nineteenth century, as soon as it was fixed the Russian Empire. The UK has started a great game — strategic activities were aimed at weakening Russia in the region and preventing its access to the Indian ocean. Were and Economics of cotton. It was important not only for the textile industry, but also as raw materials for the war effort. And the cotton market was controlled by the British and they skillfully used the supplies as a lever of pressure. “Cotton independence” of Russia was not in the hands of England, regardless of who led Russia and which system it was. Hence the order of the Basmachi with cruelty to destroy farmers-cotton, not to spare the crops, and harvest cotton. It should be noted that the development of cotton production in the South of the Russian Empire, attracted the attention of the British before the First world war. In particular, Lord Kitchener personally made at the Imperial Institute with the report on the increase in production of cotton abroad. It is impossible to exclude the influence of England on the insurrection in Turkestan in 1916, formally caused by the decision of the tsarist government on the mobilization of the Central Asian population for military work. By the way, the robber bands in those parts appeared before the fall of the tsarist regime, as scattered bands.

in addition, England was not averse to reject Turkestan from Russia and attach it to his possessions in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Basmachi for the British were expendable, which allowed hope to achieve British objectives. Used Basmachi blindly, skillfully playing on the strings are necessary, including the sense of national independence. In fact no independence it was not, it was enough to look at the situation in British India, British Egypt or Afghanistan.

By 1927, the England realized the futility of the attempt and stopped using the Basmachi, with the result that the movement was broken, and the remnants of the gang has gone abroad. However, they continued their raids from Afghanistan, but it has not been extensive fighting, and the short outing, which handled the guards and police. The end of basmachestva in Russian historiography is considered to be In 1938, when in Afghanistan died last there, Junaid Khan.

Konstantin Baranovsky

© Russian Seven

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