22 April 2003, 13:33

Krasnov, Pyotr Nikolayevich

Cossack ataman, lieutenant general, one of the leaders of anti-Bolshevik resistance in the Don area and in the Northern Caucasus in 1918-1920.

Cossack by origin, from the Cossack settlement of Karginskaya. Was born June 29 (July 12 by Gregorian calendar), 1869, in St. Petersburg, where his father, Nikolay Ivanovich Krasnov, lieutenant general of General Headquarters, served in the Head Administration of Irregular (Cossack) Armies. Grew and was educated in St. Petersburg, underwent primary schooling at home. In 1880, entered the First St. Petersburg Gymnasia. From the 5th grade of the Gymnasia was transferred at his own request to the 5th grade of Alexandrovsky Cadet Corps, which he graduated from in the rank of vice-unter-officer and entered Pavlovskoye Military Infantry College. Graduated from it on December 5, 1888, in the rank of sergeant major as the first student; his name was engraved on a marble board with gold letters for brilliant studies.

In August 1889, was appointed a horunzhy (a cornet) in the Don Cossack Regiments' Complex with the attachment to Leib Guard Ataman Regiment. In 1890, was enlisted in Leib Guard Ataman Regiment. In 1892, entered the General Staff Academy, but a year later returned to the Regiment at his own wish. In 1894, was the adjutant of the Regiment.

In 1897, was the head of the convoy (made up of Ataman Regiment's Cossacks) of the Russian Mission to Abyssinia.

In 1899 and 1900, commanded a hundred in his Regiment. In September 1901, was sent by the Military Ministry to the Far East for studies of the life of Manchuria, China, Japan, and India. In 1902, was sent to Transcaucasia to study the life of the Cossacks on Turkish and Persian frontiers.

In 1904, P.N. Krasnov was sent at his own request to the Russo-Japanese war, where he was the military correspondent of the Russian Invalid, the official military newspaper of the time. For the participation in the battles, was awarded the fourth-degree order of St. Anna (orden Sv. Anny 4-oy stepeni) endorsed For Bravery and the fourth-degree order of St. Vladimir (orden Sv. Vladimira 4-oy stepeni) with swords and a bow.

In 1906, started to study in Officer Cavalry School, graduated from it in 1908 and was left at the school as the head of the Cossack Department.

In 1910, receiving the rank of colonel, P.N. Krasnov was appointed the commander of the First Siberian Regiment named after Ermak Timofeyevich in the Pamir Mountains.

In 1913, P.N. Krasnov received the 10th Don Cossack Lukovkin Regiment under his command. With this Regiment, he was sent to the front of the WWI in 1914. Three months later, for the distinction in battle, he was promoted to major general.

Starting early November 1914, commanded the brigades consecutively in First Don Cossack Division, Native Cavalry Division, First Kuban Division, and Second Combine Cossack Division. With the Russian Armies' retreat in 1915, the Cossack units under general Krasnov's command carried out the most difficult and crucial tasks on shielding the retreating infantry and artillery units.

In the following battles of the WWI, P.N. Krasnov showed heroism and military leader talent, was wounded.

Learning about the February Revolution of 1917, Pyotr Nikolayevich Krasnov hoped that the constitutional monarchy would be established. Despising A.F. Kerensky, Krasnov participated in L.G. Kornilov's revolt. During the October Revolution, supported A.F. Kerensky, hoping that "even devil is better than the Bolsheviks". Krasnov and Kerensky's attempt to storm Petrograd failed. Kerensky escaped, and Krasnov was arrested, but promising by word not to fight against the Bolsheviks, was let go. Pyotr Nikolayevich Krasnov left for the Don, where after the Don Cossacks' uprising was elected the ataman of the Great Don Army. Some time later, finding support in Germany and not obeying A.I. Denikin, started struggling with the Bolsheviks.

As a result of the intrigues in his suite and unfavorable relations with other White Guard leaders, P.N. Krasnov was forced to resign and to leave for Germany. In emigration, took a literature career path: wrote a large number of novels, historical and journalist works, and memoirs in the Inner Front.

After the Germany's attack on the USSR, P.N. Krasnov started cooperating with the Nazis, heading the Supreme Cossack Administration, dealing with forming the Cossack units for struggle with the USSR. Took active part in creating Cossack Camp and tried to assist in its activities as much as possible. Seeing the inevitable defeat of Germany, he wished to share the destiny of the Cossacks who believed him and, leaving his home, arrived to the Cossacks who trusted him. In May 1945, surrendered to the Englishmen and was extradited by them to the Soviet Military Administration.

At the verdict of the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court, Pyotr Nikolayevich Krasnov, among other Cossack atamans, was hanged in Lefortovo jail on January 16, 1947.

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