The 1932 armed uprising (Mongolian language: 1932 оны зэвсэгт бослого, 1932 ony zevsegt boslogo) was a revolt against the rule of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) and its "left course" directed by Soviet Bolsheviks and Komintern in the Mongolian People's Republic. It covered the northwest part of the country and lasted from April–November 1932. The principal leaders were lamas. Main part of ordinary rebels consisted of common people but even many party members and the local bureaucracy joined the rebellion. The insurgents were inspired by rumours of support from the Panchen Lama and the Japanese. They were noted for a number of atrocities they committed, but the Mongolian troops sent with Soviet support to quell the rebellion engaged in more brutalities. More than 1500 people were killed. Special study revealed that this uprising corresponds to generally accepted criteria of the civil war. Suggestions that the uprising was inspired or supported by Japan or the 9th Panchen Lama were not confirmed by archival documents.
In late 1928, the government of the Mongolian People's Republic and the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party had begun to implement the 'left policy' aimed at the quick introduction of socialism. Private trade and private transport were forbidden, at the same time Mongolia's livestock economy was to be collectivized, the feudal nobles were expropriated, the Buddhist church was targeted by excessive taxes, lamas were transferred to secular life, and many monasteries forcibly closed. The state-sponsored transport and trade organizations were not at all able to replace the old, private-owned networks, and neglect and mismanagement in the newly founded collectives (Mongolian language: khamtral) led to the loss of 7 million heads of livestock, or one third of the 1929 level. All this resulted not only in a steady stream across the border to Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang, but also to local uprisings—for example, the uprising at Tögsbuyant monastery of Uvs aimag, which lasted from March to May 1930.
Outline of events
Sporadic riots occurred in the February - April 1930 in different areas of southern and south-western Mongolia. The main uprising began on April 10 or 11th 1932 in the Khyalganat monastery of Rashaant sum in Khövsgöl aimag, and spread quickly to neighbouring monasteries. The insurgents founded a high command under the name ‘’Ochirbatyn yaam’’ (Mongolian language: Ochirbat’s ministry), and began arming the local lamas and lay people, burning down collective and sum centres, and killing opponents, especially targeting officials, party and youth league members who actively fought with religion for introduction of socialism. The rebellion quickly dispersed in aimags of Arkhangai, Övörkhangai, Zavkhan and Dörböt. The first response by the Mongolian government was the establishment of an extraordinary commission headed by J. Lkhümbe, and the deployment of armed units by the Ministry of the Interior in Ulaanbaatar, on April 15/16th. Main powers of the rebels were difeated to July, and the government started to withdraw troops. In August, however, the rebellion resumed starting again from the south of Khövsgöl and the north of Arkhangai aimags. It is supposed that the Mongolian rebels have connection with similar uprising in Tuva.
The uprising covered area of about 155 thousand km2. The garrison of Tsetserleg town, numbered 1195 people, joined the rebels. In general, most of rebels were common herdsmen. In Övörkhangai aimag 90% members of Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and the Revolutionary youth union joined the rebels, as well as 95% of collective farms. The troops of rebels numbered from dozens to thousands men. They were armed mainly with flintlocks, rarely old rifles. Governmental troops were smaller, to few hundred men. They were armed much better. They had modern rifles, machine guns, grenades, mountain artillery, armored cars and planes provided by the USSR. Soviet troops were not introduced, but military advisers participated in some battles. The uprising was suppressed to November.
The uprising covered four most populated aimags (Khövsgöl, Arkhangai, Övörkhangai, Zavkhan, Dörböt, partly Altai and Southern Govi). The numbers are quite fragmentary but more than 3,000 people are said to have participated on the side of the insurgents, and they are said to have killed more than 700 people between April and July 1932. According to a short-time chairman of the Defense Council, D. Ölziibat, 500 insurgents were killed in 16 battles, and 615 insurgents were condemned to death by drumhead courts-martial. 35 sum centres and 45 cooperatives were destroyed. According to one Soviet document, to 8000-10000 people were killed. Total number of people killed by insurgents is many times less than the total number of victims of the uprising.
Convinced the threat to the authority of the MPRP by the "left course", the Bolsheviks' leadership ordered to stop the "left" reforms in Mongolia and to transfer to the "new course". As a result, anti-religious policies were eased after June 1932, and collectivization was called off. However, the Mongolian nobility had been destroyed, and the political moderation was only to be temporary: the Buddhist church would be almost completely eradicated in the Stalinist purges of the late 1930s, and lifestock would be collectivized again in the 1950s.
- Stalinist repressions in Mongolia
- C.R. Bawden, The Modern History of Mongolia, London 1968, p. 316
- D. Tserenbaljir, 1932 ony zevsegt boslogo, Ulaanbaatar 1990, p.21, 53
- D. Tserenbaljir, 1932 ony zevsegt boslogo, Ulaanbaatar 1990, p.53
- C.R. Bawden, The Modern History of Mongolia, London 1968, p. 317f
- D. Tserenbaljir, 1932 ony zevsegt boslogo, Ulaanbaatar 1990, p.94f
- Kuzmin, S.L. and Oyuunchimeg J. Vooruzhennoe Vosstanie v Mongolii v 1932 g. Moscow, MBA Publ., 2015
- Kuzmin, S.L. and Oyuunchimeg, J. Sotsializmyn Esreg 1932 Ony Mongol Dakh Boslogo. Ulaanbaatar: Munkhiin Useg, 2014
- C.R. Bawden, The Modern History of Mongolia, London 1968, pp. 301-318
- D. Tserenbaljir, 1932 ony zevsegt boslogo, Ulaanbaatar 1990, p. 19
- Kuzmin S.L. West-Mongolian uprising of 1930 in defense of religion. – Religiovedenie, 2015, no 1, p. 53-59
- D. Tserenbaljir, 1932 ony zevsegt boslogo, Ulaanbaatar 1990, p. 33f
- Kuzmin, S.L. and Oyuunchimeg J. Vooruzhennoe Vosstanie v Mongolii v 1932 g. Moscow, MBA Publ., 2015, p. 164-165
- Kuzmin, S.L. and Oyuunchimeg J. Vooruzhennoe Vosstanie v Mongolii v 1932 g. Moscow, MBA Publ., 2015, pp. 88-99, 165
- Kuzmin, S.L. and Oyuunchimeg, J. Sotsializmyn Esreg 1932 Ony Mongol Dakh Boslogo. Ulaanbaatar: Munkhiin Useg, 2014, p. 97-114
- Kuzmin, S.L. and Oyuunchimeg J. Vooruzhennoe Vosstanie v Mongolii v 1932 g. Moscow, MBA Publ., 2015, p. 102-103
- C.R. Bawden, The Modern History of Mongolia, London 1968, p. 320ff
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