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The Siege of Perekop was an important battle in the Russian Civil War. It took place from 7 to 17 November 1920.

The operation allowed offensive troops of the Southern Front of the Red Army under the command of Mikhail Frunze advance against the White Russian army of General Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel to break through the fortifications at Perekop and Sivash, leading to the Red Army occupation of the Crimea.

In early 1920, the Crimean Corps under General Yakov Slashchov successfully repelled several attempts of the Red Army to seize the Crimea.

In November 1920, immediately prior to the main attack on Perekop, the balance of forces was as follows:

  • Grouping of forces of the Southern Front, there were: 146.4 thousand bayonets;. 40.2 thousand sabers.; 985 pieces of artillery; 4435 machine guns; 57 armored cars; 17 armored trains and 45 aircraft.
  • Wrangel's Russian Army in the Crimea totaled more than 41 thousand soldiers and officers, of whom about 6 thousand were diverted to fight the guerrillas, security facilities and communications, so as part of groups in the northern part of the peninsula, there were more than 23 thousand bayonets...; 12 thousand sabers.; 213 pieces of artillery; 45 tanks and armored vehicles; 14 armored trains; 42 aircraft.[1]


The construction of fortifications on the isthmus of Perekop began in the autumn of 1919. The White Army defense system consisted of two strips of defense: Perekopskaya (it was the foundation of the Turkish section of the shaft with a total length of 11 km, it included a ditch, barbed wire in 3-5 rows and three lines of trenches) and Ishun (20–25 km from the first line).

There were also upgrades to strengthen Chongarsky's direction and the Arabat Spit - up to 5-6 lines of trenches and trenches with barbed wire [3]. Relatively weak defense was only Lithuanian peninsula: one line of trenches and barbed wire.

Approximately 10,000 White Army soldiers defended Perekop and Ishun while 3,000 defended the Syvash, the Chongar Strait and Arabat Spit, a strong reserve. Just over 14,000 were located in the rear.


Initially, Frunze had planned to deliver the main blow toward Chongar but due to the ice holding back the Azov flotilla, the main attack was transferred on toward Perekop.

The assault on Perekop included the 6th, 1st Combined Arms units and 2nd Mounted Army.

On the strengthening of troops Communists and Komsomol members were sent just before the start of operations in the army, there were 8 thousand. Communists and 2,500.


On the night of November 8, 1920 striking force of the 6th Army in adverse weather conditions (strong winds and frost 11-12 degrees Celsius) crossed the 7-kilometer water obstacle - Siwash and day November 8, 1920 captured the Lithuanian peninsula.

At the same time, the 51th Infantry Division undertook a frontal attack Turkish shaft. For the purpose of the concentration of forces in the attack site staff of the division was reorganized into six waves - the first component granatomёtchiki and wire cutters, a second - attack aircraft; third - reserve; fourth - "cleaners", and the fifth and sixth - reserve.[2] The attack was not successful.

In popular culture

  • Two Comrades Were Serving - 1968 Soviet film, which takes place during the Perekop-Chongar Operation.
  • Marshal of the Revolution - 1978 Soviet biopic about the Southern Front commander Mikhail Frunze, covering the events from September 21 to November 16, 1920 (the fighting in the south of the left-bank Ukraine, assault of Perekop and forcing the Sivash, the defeat of Baron Wrangel's army in Crimea).
  • The Sun of the Dead - 1923 novel by Ivan Shmelyov focusing on the consequences of the capture of Crimea by the Red Army.
  • Sumy Hussars 1651–1951 (Buenos Aires, 1954), a historical overview written by White émigrés, describes the collapse of the 1st Sumy Hussar Regiment's main squadron restored in the Volunteer Army. On 13 November [O.S. 30 October] 1920, the squadron's remnants surrendered to the Bolsheviks near the village of Mamut. A part of the regiment officers committed suicide, others were shot on the spot.


  1. Okgarkov, NV (1978). Soviet Military Encyclopedia.. Moscow: Military Publishing. pp. 286–287. 
  2. Vvedensky, BA (1955). Perekop-Operation Chongarsky 1920. State Scientific Publishing House, "Great Soviet Encyclopedia". pp. 416–418. 

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