Chinese and Korean Participation in the Russian Civil War

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Kim Sung
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Chinese and Korean Participation in the Russian Civil War

Postby Kim Sung » 04 May 2006 13:31

Today I've found something interesting about Chinese participation in the Russian Civil War. Look!

From 'Staliin and His Hangmen' by Donald Rayfield P.72

In 1919, 75 percent of the Cheka's central management was Latvian. When Russian soldiers refused to carry out executions, Latvian(and a Chinese force of some 500 hundred men) were brought in.

How could these 500 Chinese men join Cheka? Does anybody have details on this new fact? I'm curious.

Trotsky and Chinese Volsheviks

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Source: http://www.germinaliteratura.com.br
Last edited by Kim Sung on 04 May 2006 14:23, edited 1 time in total.

Eugen Pinak
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Postby Eugen Pinak » 04 May 2006 13:58

There were several hundreids of thouthands Chinese workers in Russia in 1917. Some of them had no objections to become mercenaries. They were loyal guys if payed well, so new Soviet rulers used them as shock detachments and security troopers.

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Kim Sung
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Postby Kim Sung » 04 May 2006 14:02

Thanks for an unknown info~

Reigo
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Postby Reigo » 04 May 2006 14:14

Soviet authors estimated the number of Chinese "internationalists" in the Red Army as about 30000-40000.
There were also Koreans (mainly in the Far-East), but I have yet nowhere seen numbers about them.

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Kim Sung
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Postby Kim Sung » 04 May 2006 14:29

Reigo wrote:Soviet authors estimated the number of Chinese "internationalists" in the Red Army as about 30000-40000.
There were also Koreans (mainly in the Far-East), but I have yet nowhere seen numbers about them.


More than 1,000 ethnic Koreans under the leadership of Han Chang-Gul(한창걸) and Kim Kyoung-Chun(김경철) joined Russian Volsheviks and fought against the Japanese expeditionary forces and the White Russians in Primorsky Oblast'. They even participated in the massacre of Nikolaevsk in 1920.

Korean fighters meeting with Russian Volsheviks

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RCW Mark
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Postby RCW Mark » 08 May 2006 16:29

How could these 500 Chinese men join Cheka?


They didn't join the Cheka as such: they were the "leg men". They assisted at arrests, guarded prisoners etc. Their lack of interest in Russian politics (and frequently poor understanding of Russian) was a huge advantage, as they were unlikely to side with the prisoners, whereas a ethnic Russian might be swayed.

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Paul kyre
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Postby Paul kyre » 23 May 2006 07:36

I think these koreans are supporting the bolsheviks to figt against japan and to free korea. These Koreans who support Bolsheviks are the forerunners of the Korean Communists who had founded North korea.

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Kim Sung
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Postby Kim Sung » 23 May 2006 07:44

Paul kyre wrote:I think these koreans are supporting the bolsheviks to figt against japan and to free korea. These Koreans who support Bolsheviks are the forerunners of the Korean Communists who had founded North korea.

Yes, you're right.

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Musashi
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Postby Musashi » 23 May 2006 11:38

I also read a large group of Chinese took part in the Russo-Polish war in 1919-20 on Russian side. They were part of the Red Army as other nationalities.

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Postby JTV » 24 May 2006 11:17

Chinese workers were used also to build Russian fortifications around Gulf of Finland in 1916 – 1917. I found this historical study (unfortunately it is in Finnish) about deaths of Russians in Finland 1914 – 1922 (seems to be part of Finnish "Sotasurmat 1914 - 1922" historical project, that studied deaths in Finland during that era) in the net. Here is bit of information translated:

The Russians find out that they needed more suitable migrant in addition of Finnish workers to build the Peter the Great Coastal Fortress (which covered route to Petrograd aka St. Petersburg) during WW1 in Finland. The suggestion for acquiring masses of more loyal migrant workers was made by Engineer L. Pogosev, who was leading building of land fortifications in Finland. St Petersburg military district had hired Chinese already earlier, so this was not nothing new. According RVGIA archives there already were 2,008 Chinese working in Novgorod district, 702 in Jaroslav district and 404 in Latvia. Documents suggest that their contract was made between Moscow – Vildavo- Rybinski railway administration and Harbin. According this contract these Chinese lived in barracks and were paid 70 rubles/month.

Imperial order of the day 25th of June 1916 included 26-page long regulations according which migrant workers in Russia had no right to leave the job to which they had been ordered and had to fulfill precisely orders issued by authorities. All migrant workers were subject to military administration and each of them had to carry special book about wages with them. Their employer had to take care of their livelihood and escapes plus deaths had to be reported to authorities immediately. They were guarded by Cossacks. These rules were applied to POW’s, but supposedly also to Chinese migrant workers (which were basically prisoners doing forced labour).

The first 2,100 Chinese arrived to Finland in August of 1916. Likely they were mainly Manchurian hunghus aka “red-beards” (honghuzi) – train robbers and vagrants living from robberies and other crimes. Large number of them had been locked up to prisons in Harbin, Mukden etc from where they were now transported to forced labour in this construction project. When they arrived to Finland they were divided to 5 groups located in Espoo, Kauniainen, Vantaa, Korso and Soderkulla of Sipoo. They did mostly forestry in these places and among other things laid stone roads for guns in Katanpaa coastal fort. Finding accommodation for them proved difficult as local farmers were unwilling to rent even empty barns for this use. They also lacked appropriate clothing for winter. 26 of these prisoners committed crimes and got escorted by militia to Petrograd jurisdiction, where they received punishment. Some restlessness among them was also caused by the fact that their dead were not buried according their customs. Most brutal of the crimes committed by them in Finland was triple-homicide of Saxback/Granqvist family November of 1916 in Sipoo – crime from which one of them received death sentence. In addition some of them got charged for murder of Karl-Alfons Lilja in Espoo December of 1916. According stories they would have also blown up one of the Russian foremen in Espoo.

11th of November 1916 reports tell that 900 Chinese had been removed from fortification works and sent back to China. 600 of them belonged to group, which had worked in Sipoo (and included the 26 how had been caught from crimes mentioned earlier). The remaining 2,000 workers/prisoners were heavily guarded. By 23rd of December / 5th of January already 2,330 Chinese had left from Finland in three columns. The forth column containing 226 Chinese left 30th of January 1917. Last Chinese left from Soderkulla in late autumn of 1917. According stories the last group was loaded to out of repair barge, which sunk south of Suursaari Island in Finnish Gulf – there were suspicions that the barge had been blown up intentionally.

Some of the Chinese that stay in Finland took part in Finnish Civil War (January - May 1918) in both sides. Few sources mention individual Chinese fighting and getting killed in the war in various battles and executions. The article mentions 4 sources and 3 of those mention Chinese serving in side of the Reds while one mentions death of a Chinese man fighting in side of the Whites. The estimate is that few dozen Chinese died in Finland between 1914 – 1922.

The document I translated this info from:
http://www.vnk.fi/julkaisukansio/2004/j ... pdf/fi.pdf

I have also read earlier about Chinese fighting in Bolshevik (Russian) side in Estonian War of Independence (1918 – 1920).

Jarkko
Last edited by JTV on 24 May 2006 14:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Kim Sung
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Postby Kim Sung » 24 May 2006 12:21

Thank you for these entirely unknown facts~

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Postby Reigo » 24 May 2006 18:50

I have also read earlier about Chinese fighting in Bolshevik (Russian) side in Estonian War of Independence (1918 – 1920).


Indeed, in January 1919 because of critical situation on the front in Southern Estonia the Reds threw against the advancing Estonians an engineers unit (a mine-demolishing divizion - three companies) which was mostly composed of Chinese (the commanders were Russians). The divizion suffered seriously in battles. As a sidenote - the commander of the divizion Captain Stavski together with another Russian ex officer deserted to the Estonians when sent to the front and later served in the North-Western Army.

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Postby Zimmerman » 29 Jun 2006 04:29

I believe Yakir had a personal bodyguard of Chinese troops. He supposedly never went anywhere without them.

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Postby timotheus » 08 Jul 2006 05:07

Yes Suvorov writes extensively about the chinese mercenaries.

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Postby BIGpanzer » 09 Jul 2006 00:40

Also it should be noted that Chinese troops participated on the side of Far-East White Russian forces against Bolshevists. Chinese Army didn't participate active in Russian civil war but Chinese border units, guard troops and cavalry squadrons guarded railways and military storehouses under the control of White Russian Forces. Also Chinese battalion (from Chinese workers from Murmansk and Arkhangelsk) was formed in 1918 in Russian North under the control of British occupation administration.
Later, many Russian White officers ran to China in 1920s and established there quite strong Russian Diaspora and Imperial officer committee, quite many ex-White Russian officers in China supported Japan in conflicts with USSR (1938, 1939, 1945) and participated in military operations against Soviet troops on Japanese side.


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