Roman Feodorovich von Ungern-Sternberg...who was this guy???

Discussions on other historical eras.
Davey Boy
Member
Posts: 1504
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 13:51
Location: Australia

Roman Feodorovich von Ungern-Sternberg...who was this guy???

Post by Davey Boy » 25 Mar 2002 07:14

I found this on the net. It must be one of the funniest things I've read recently. But how much does it have in common with reality?


The Baron


Roman Feodorovich von Ungern-Sternberg was an archetypal 'White' Russian extremist. Born in 1886, a Baltic German, he claimed descent from a long line of military men, including Attila the Hun. During the Crusades, his ancestors gained the reputation of being in league with Satan. Certainly they were mentally impeded. Ungern-Sternberg himself was the proud owner of an atrophied brain, a feature he used to demonstrate his relationship with the dwarfish Attila. It was housed in an unnaturally small cranium, described by one follower as being cloven by "a terrible sword cut which pulsed with red veins." An ascetic and lopsided expression combined with broad shoulders, disordered blond hair and lipless mouth made him appear like an excruciating example from the local demon pantheon. Fortunately, no photographs of his visage exist.

Ungern-Sternberg served with another vicious 'White', the notorious Grigory Semenov. They fought together in the Carpathians and were posted to Siberia at the same time. One of Ungern-Sternberg's favourite hobbies after he was promoted to the rank of Major-General was to enter taverns, consume enough vodka to achieve double-vision and then fire at the other patrons, logging how many he could hit. To his astonishment, it remained a constant fifty-percent of those he aimed at. Despite his tiny head, it took enormous quantities of alcohol to make him drunk. After a few years of developing his hobby, drinkers across Siberia learned to flee when he kicked open cafe doors with a boot.

The Baron felt the pull of the east: the mountains, rolling steppes and icy wastes of Genghis Khan's stamping ground. He studied the tactics used by Mongol warlords and was fascinated by their courage and stamina. When his total of dead customers became too high for his addled brain to recall, he was struck with a revelation. He later compared this blast of insight with satori, the enlightenment experienced by Buddha. This noble divulgence was as follows: by slaying people he was doing them a favour. If they were unable to protect themselves, it meant they were feeble and living under poor Karma. By dying in a state of innocence, they improved their position on the rungs of the cosmos.

It dawned on Ungern-Sternberg that his tawdry victims were destined to be reborn as greater beings. He was thus the agency of their improvement, a holy man destined to aid all those who still clung to such material values as air. In the blink of an ill-set eye, the Baron became a convert to the eightfold-path, preaching respect for life with a bullet. In his newfound wisdom, he realised that he must interpret the scriptures in his own manner. For good measure, he dissolved a dose of apocalyptic Christianity into the brew, like a pinch of arsenic in a dish of butter-tea.


Search For Meaning


Now the Baron had belief, he also had a purpose. The Bolsheviks, already sweeping Marxist-Leninism to every corner of the empire, were a tangible manifestation of Mara, the evil essence. They had to be exterminated: by dying in agony they would be reborn as superior 'White' Russians. Unable to make calculations more complex than those which could be performed on his unnaturally long fingers, the Baron reasoned that for every 'Red' he murdered, his own ranks would swell with two more soldiers. The dead man counted both as one away from the enemy and one for himself. When it was pointed out that the souls were not reborn into maturity, but as babies, he hired soothsayers by the score for elucidation. These also counselled caution; with inherited and borrowed wealth he conscripted them into the nucleus of his private bodyguard.

To take on the Red Army, however, was above even Ungern-Sternberg's delusions. Nor could he stay longer in Russian territory. The answer was simple - he would ride into Mongolia, destroy the Chinese administration and set up a personal kingdom. Then he would forge a Pan-Asiatic empire, including Manchuria and Tibet. As his magical powers increased in tandem with his military strength, a proper invasion of his motherland could be undertaken. At this stage, his scheme included the dismantling of Moscow and its replacement with a city of tents. He saw stone cities as hubs of evil; their solidity made concrete the miseries of existence. An officer under his command remarked on his genuine conviction that he was a force for good in the universe. In the Baron's words: "Only evolution leads to divine truth; I am that process."


The Holy Plan


When Ungern-Sternberg had managed to enlist over three hundred devotees, he baptised them in vodka and hashish and gave them a name: the Order of Military Buddhists. To prove the mind stronger than the flesh, the Baron decided to reverse Buddha's moral guidelines. Narcotics were to be taken at least once a day but celibacy was mandatory. Any true follower of the path shuns the first but is not strictly required to forsake the latter. The reasoning of the Baron was that if he could sin against his religion and yet preserve his faith, he was more than a disciple; he was a saint. The Order of Military Buddhists dazedly entered Mongolia in 1920, partly chased out of Russia by Bolsheviks.

On horseback, they reached Urga in February 1921. Mongolian winters are incredibly severe: temperatures of minus 40 are not uncommon. Unable to launch his attack without astrological guidance, Ungern-Sternberg set up camp outside the gates, awaiting a beneficial alignment of the stars. Eager to taste the heated delights of the city, his soldiers whiled away the hours by debating the virtues of necrophilia. Finally, at a divinely ordained moment, the Baron released his frostbitten crew of savages upon the capital. They encountered scant resistance as they stampeded through the narrow alleyways and courtyards. Baffled imprecations from merchants formed the biggest counter-attack. The carnage was atrocious: an orgy of rape and looting lasted three days.

One of the Baron's officers, Dmitri Alioshin, left a garish account of the assault and its aftermath. The soldiers broke into shops, dragged priceless silks into the dirty alleyways and swathed themselves in grimy finery. The small Jewish population was completely exterminated, in true Russian style. "Drunken horsemen galloped along the streets shooting and killing at their fancy... The humiliation of the women was so awful that I saw one of the officers run inside the house with a razor and offer to let the girl commit suicide before she was attacked..." This was a trick as celibacy applied only to relations with living women. A new method of executing men was invented - they would be forced to stand at one end of a street while a rider armed with a block of wood swept past and smashed them in the face. One Military Buddhist, a Cossack, started shooting his own men in mistake and was retired.


The Aftermath


After cleansing Urga of Chinese influence, Ungern-Sternberg settled down to the business of consolidating his victory. To prove his skills in the field of peace, he restored the Boghd Khan to the throne and disinfected the city sewers. Then he embarked on a sequence of reforms, which helped to turn the picturesque and dangerous capital into the soulless place it has remained since. But positive results came from some of his ideas. He introduced paper currency, built bridges and arranged a public transport system. He founded a library of religious texts and opened schools where Mongols could study their culture.

There have been many autocracies throughout history, but surely few as outlandish, in both senses, as the one inaugurated by our Baron. Most dictatorial crimes spring from egos which have spiralled out of control; Ungern-Sternberg wanted nothing to do with his own ego. A fine Buddhist, his mandate was to free himself and others from the fetters of identity. He was fond of tapping his head, with its duelling scar, and exclaiming: "Even this is too big for my needs." Thus his outrages were conducted in the spirit of violent serenity. Death was the reward for good behaviour; to catch the favourable karma before its owner could negate its effects. Wrong behaviour was also punishable by death, a slower one. Citizens who used his bus service but disembarked at the "rebirth station of the day" were suspended from a tree and gently lowered into an enormous fire. The Baron termed this a "return fare."

It is said that Urga's children in the summer of 1921 were superbly educated. Food was scarce in the city at that time - school-dinners were not readily available. At the end of each morning, those dunces still at the back of the class became main course for the more capable. But those at the very front became pudding. It was a question of moderation in all things, including arbitrariness. Secular thieves were believed to suffer from a virus caught from the Chinese. The Baron devised an original form of complimentary medicine to treat such patients. His range of cures was remarkable, from "funnel-consumption" of arkhi, the local brew fermented from mare's milk, to "sewing mice into the liver." Most reliable of all, was the big enema with turpentine.

Whether every tale which surrounds the Baron's excesses is entirely factual is open to debate. Bolsheviks surely played up his monstrousness after his death. One grotesque fabrication worth mentioning is his habit of wriggling inside a horse's stomach to look for "equanimity." He could enter the beast from either end. "With his minuscule head, hardly bigger than a man's fist, it was little trouble for him to climb his way into a snorting steed." He started asking his own men to donate their skeletons for the construction of a "multi-jointed Bodhisattva." Unanimously, they refused. Ungern-Sternberg wept for the lost chance to skip reincarnation and achieve instantaneous Nirvana.


The Kettle Demon


Rumours are lies in fog, but independent witnesses attest to the cruelty of his two favourite minions. The first of these, Colonel Sepailoff, was given the rank of Commander of Urga. Suffering from a form of Tourette's Syndrome, "always nervously jerking his body", he sang wordless songs as he killed people. The second lackey was a man who had forgotten his name in the long ride across the Mongolian steppe. As no-one else recalled it and he was always brewing tea, he received the nickname 'Teapot'. He was the Baron's constant companion. Whenever a Mongol applied for a job with this new administration, Ungern-Sternberg would personally interview the candidate. If he requested a cup of tea during the proceedings, 'Teapot' would move behind the job-seeker and strangle him with his steamy hands. Expiry did not necessarily disqualify the candidate from being offered a position, nor from earning a wage.


The Collapse


Naturally a government run by lunatics and rotting cadavers could hardly hope to be accepted seriously on an international stage. The British had lined the pocket of the Baron's aquaintance, the demented Semenov. When this money ran out, Semenov crumbled. In a similar way, Ungern-Sternberg managed to last eight months merely because of financial assistance from Japan. The details of this assistance are unknown; undoubtedly Tokyo saw an independent Mongolia as a useful bulwark against the Russian bear and Chinese dragon. Power politics in the area at this time remain extremely shady, like a mirror in a dungeon.

The demise of Ungern-Sternberg was precipitated by his treatment of the Boghd Khan. The Baron had embarked on a campaign to improve the soul of Urga. This involved incarcerating each citizen in turn in the prison. The captives were supposed to remain in the crates until someone came to buy them out. This served both to raise revenue and earn "wondrous karma all-round." The person who paid the money gained one share for freeing a soul in torment; the individual in the cell earned another for being the cause of the former's altruism; the Baron also earned a part for setting up the system in the first place. The Boghd Khan asked the Baron if this was pushing liberal religion too far. Ungern-Sternberg patted him on the head and announced that he would take up his objections with Buddha when he visited Heaven. "But first you must lend me your loftiest ladder," he continued, glancing up at a cloud.

This was too much for the king, who issued a request for aid to all who felt strong enough to offer it. A young communist heard the plea and took up the flag of justice. Sukhe Bator was everything Ungern-Sternberg was not: disciplined, courageous without being reckless, possessed of an ordinary head. A former dispatch-rider, he was the founder-member of the secret People's Party, an opposition group based in the desert. With six representatives, including the insane Choibalsan, Sukhe concealed a copy of the Boghd Khan's request in the handle of a bull-whip and smuggled it to Russia. When he came back, it was at the head of a Red Army division. For Mongolia, it was the start of seventy years of different intolerance and anguish as a Soviet satellite.


The Broken Talisman


Ungern-Sternberg did not wait to welcome defeat in the ruins of Urga. He decided to take the fight to the Bolsheviks. He rounded up his followers and charged north. To prepare for the impending conflict, double rations of vodka and hashish were issued. His drugged army was quickly decimated by a communist patrol. The survivors mutinied and attempted to shoot the Baron. He fled, without hat or clothing, into the night. One description endures from this period: "On his naked chest numerous talismans, charms and medals were hanging on a yellow cord. He looked like a reincarnation of a prehistoric ape-man. People were afraid to even look at him." As he sought to evade capture, Sukhe Bator invaded Urga, renaming it in honour of himself - Ulan Bator. One by one, Ungern-Sternberg lost his remaining men. He was the last to be caught.

He was taken to the Siberian city of Novosibirsk by train. At every station he was exhibited on the platform as a freak in a cage. No charge was levied to stare at him. His trial was swift and callous, yet for the first time in his life, he spoke eloquently. He remained unrepentant but the mysticism had evaporated. He was the last 'White' general to trouble Lenin; the revolution was settled.

In September 1921 he was sent before a firing squad, still weighted down with talismans. His last utterance was to accuse his judge of being "too red." His head was much too small to make a suitable target, so the marksmen aimed for his chest. Shrapnel from a charm seriously injured at least one of them. His brain was removed for study by doctors and it was disclosed that his left lobe, now considered the hemisphere of identity, existed only as a shrivelled root.


Coda


When the news of his demise reached the Boghd Khan, the king prepared an elaborate memorial service to be held for the benefit of his ghost. Some of the prayers spoken that evening were attempts to ensure the Baron was never reincarnated anywhere in Mongolia. The Boghd Khan led a procession through the city streets in an ox-powered automobile, a present from the Russian ambassador, who had neglected to explain how to start the motor. Devastated Urga had not yet escaped Ungern-Sternberg's malign influence. Further structural damage was caused by the all-night beating of massive silver gongs and improbable drums.

Ken
Member
Posts: 89
Joined: 20 Mar 2002 07:08

Post by Ken » 09 Apr 2002 05:35

I don't know what to say, really.

cptstennes
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: 17 Jun 2002 20:19
Location: DC

Ungern-Sternberg

Post by cptstennes » 18 Jun 2002 22:09

There is more about him on the web. He was real. Altho I wonder about his tiny head. If you seek on the web, you will find. And further look at his relations with Semenov. Semenov ended badly. Regards, F.

User avatar
Balrog
Member
Posts: 1231
Joined: 17 Feb 2003 15:09
Location: USA, North Carolina/Manchukuo/Dominican Republic

Post by Balrog » 01 Jun 2007 01:43

Can anyone recommend a book(in Englsih) about the Baron?

What about General Semenov?

User avatar
The Edge
Member
Posts: 4167
Joined: 28 Nov 2005 10:18
Location: Serbia

Post by The Edge » 04 Jun 2007 13:06


dragos03
Member
Posts: 422
Joined: 24 Jan 2004 20:29
Location: Bucuresti

Post by dragos03 » 06 Jun 2007 03:52

The story is real and fascinating. I don't know why there hasn't been any movie based on his life yet. It is also said that he ate up his Cross of St. George before his execution, so that it won't fall in the hands of the sacrilegious communists.

User avatar
Eddy Marz
Member
Posts: 559
Joined: 12 Mar 2007 11:32
Location: France

Post by Eddy Marz » 12 Jun 2007 18:02

There are few books concerning Roman Von Ungern Sternberg. Very varying in quality and reliability, they also give radically different impressions of him (depending on who they were written by, when, and for who) :

- Ferdinand OSSENDOWSKY "Beasts, Men and Gods" (one of the first bios)

- Vladimir POZNER "Le Mors au dents" (this is the Communist Party orthodox version : Ungern was a degenerate killer of noble communists)

- Dmitri PERCHINE "Baron Ungern, Ourga and Altan-Bolag"

- Jean MABIRE "Ungern, the mad Baron" (Mabire contends that Ungern was pagan)

- Leonid YOUZEFOVITCH "Baron Ungern"

- Arcady STOLYPIN "Mongolia between Moscow and Peking"

- J. LEVINE "Mongolia"

- General WRANGEL "Memoirs"

And more recently :

Erik SABLÉ "Ungern" - edited by Pardès (France) - 2006

Regards
Eddy Marz

User avatar
Eddy Marz
Member
Posts: 559
Joined: 12 Mar 2007 11:32
Location: France

Post by Eddy Marz » 12 Jun 2007 18:23

Here's three pics of Baron Von Ungern Sternberg :

- Aged 22
- During WW1 (in Daouria - Transbaïkaal)
- In Mongol uniform (Daouria - 1914)

User avatar
Eddy Marz
Member
Posts: 559
Joined: 12 Mar 2007 11:32
Location: France

Post by Eddy Marz » 12 Jun 2007 18:26

Here are the pics, sorry :
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Eddy Marz
Member
Posts: 559
Joined: 12 Mar 2007 11:32
Location: France

Post by Eddy Marz » 13 Jun 2007 18:55

Just a little straightning out of DaveyBoy’s description of Roman Feodorovitch Von Ungern-Sternberg, which sounds much like the Soviet version; great for the legend…

Ungern never claimed to be a descendant of Attila (a Leninist – then Stalinist – attempt at demonization), because he simply didn’t need to revert to such inventions to lay claims to awesome ancestry : The Ungern-Sternbergs were a line of Baltic aristocrats of German (and probably Hungarian) descent.

- The first of the identified Ungerns was killed outside Jerusalem during the Crusades.

- Hans Von Ungern-Sternberg was a « Porte Glaive », a Warrior-Monk order, close to the Teutonic Knights. He was subordinate to the Archbishop of Riga, and had traveled to the Baltic to fight the ‘Pagan Slavs’.

From then on, the fate of the Unger-Sternberg is closely linked to the Teutonic Knights. Roman Ungern-Sternberg told Ferdinand Ossendowsky (who interviewed him – see book list in previous post) : « The Order has always included a member of our family ». Two Ungerns were killed at Tannenberg when the Teutonic Knights were defeated by the Polish/Lithuanian coalition in 1410. Then, from the 16th century on, the Ungerns settled in Estonia and Livonia.

- Raul Ungern was a ‘brigand’ knight, operating in Lithuania and Estonia, between Riga and Reval.

- Peter Ungern occupied the island of Dago in the Baltic Sea, and ransomed commercial ships.

- At the start of the 18th century, Wilhelm Ungern was a ‘necromancer’ and earned himself the name of “Satan’s Brother”.

- In 1653, Queen Christine of Sweden gave the Ungerns the title of Barons; the family crest’s motto was : “Their Star Knows no Decline”

- In 1740, Field Marshall Baron Matthias Alexander Von Ungern-Sternberg commanded the Swedish troops against the Russians.

Robert Nicolas Maximilian Von Ungern-Sternberg was born on 29 December 1885, in Graz (Austria). His mother, Sophie Charlotte Von Wimpffer (an extremely rich aristocrat from Würtemberg) and his father, Baron Theodore Von Ungern-Sternberg, were both Lutherans. Accordingly, Robert Nicolas was very versed in Biblical matters, and later changed his Christian names to Roman Feodorovitch.

He was useless in school, although good in mathematics, extremely interested in philosophy, travel, and foreign languages. His parents had him enter the Marine Corps in St. Petersburg at age ten (!). In middle life, he was fluent in Russian, German, Estonian, English and French. He also learned to speak Mongol and ‘Buriat’(Manchurian-Mongol dialect).

He had almost completed training when the Russian-Japanese war broke out. The Russian defeat had an immense impact on Occidental countries who until then had always considered Asiatic warriors ‘inferior’. Roman Von Ungern-Sternberg – both for patriotic reasons and a clear taste for adventure – enlisted into the Russian Army. He was refused frontline duty because he had not finished his classes, and so left for Manchuria and enlisted as a private in the 91st Imperial Infantry Regiment… Aged 19.

Mmmh, that’s about it for now. If anybody is interested I can carry on the story some other time – could take a while though.

Regards
Eddy Marz

User avatar
Balrog
Member
Posts: 1231
Joined: 17 Feb 2003 15:09
Location: USA, North Carolina/Manchukuo/Dominican Republic

Post by Balrog » 16 Jun 2007 07:20

Eddy, thank you so much for those excellent posts. I am interested in learning more about the "Mad Baron". I will try to locate English language versions of the books you mentioned. You seem to be extremely well read on the topic. Could you answer these questions?

1.) Was the Baron "mad"?

2.) How would you describe his rule in Mongolia? Was it as heinous as some have reported? You seem to dismiss some allegations as Soviet propaganda.

3.) How big was his army? I've read as high as 6000 (4000 White Russians, the rest Mongols), perhaps 1200(according to one of his officers), and as little as 300.

4.) What did Wrangel have to say about him?

5.) Any information on the Mongol Princess who became his wife? (His first wife and child had been killed in the civil war.)

User avatar
Eddy Marz
Member
Posts: 559
Joined: 12 Mar 2007 11:32
Location: France

Post by Eddy Marz » 16 Jun 2007 16:13

Hi Balrog , thank you for your kind comments.

I wouldn’t say that Ungern was mentally ill in any accepted medical or ‘romantic’ sense of the word. His behavior, attitude, and philosophy, however were certainly in deep contrast with his social class and must have shocked many of the rigidly conservative members of the aristocracy and of the Officer class. Although we will never know for sure (lack of extensive data, and vagueness of the term ‘madness’), I think the following descriptions can nevertheless be helpful in helping us draw our own conclusions:

- What Wrangel has to say :

“Captain Baron Ungern Sternberg, or simply ‘the Baron’ as his men called him, was more complicated and interesting. Men of his stature are indispensable in wartime and impossible in times of peace. […] Small, blond, with a long reddish mustache, he was very healthy and fiercely energetic; war was his element. He wasn’t an officer in the ordinary sense; he disregarded rules and discipline, and totally ignored rules of etiquette and decorum. Untidy, dirty, he’d sleep on the floor among his Cossacks and eat with them. Raised in a civilized milieu, he seemed estranged to any outside culture. I tried hopelessly to persuade him of the need to adopt, at least on the outside, an officer attitude. […] Extremely two-sided, he had a very original mind and, simultaneously, an astonishing lack of culture. […] His fury knew no boundaries, and he expressed a total absence of personal needs”

- Count Hermann Von Keyserling (Ungern’s brother in law):

“During WW1 and the Revolution, I spent entire nights arguing with Roman. I don’t think he was open to reasoning: ‘Don’t force me to think! Thoughts come and go like the wind’ he would say. Already, at school (military), he would claim: ‘Thinking is cowardice’. […]. His metaphysical concepts were tightly linked to Tibetan and Hindu thought”.

- Testimony of Dmitri Pershin:

“Had he been clean shaven, dressed with style, and well groomed, his racy silhouette would have fitted perfectly in high society’s fashionable salons. […] He ate and drank very moderately, and never had a taste for alcohol anyway. He was totally disinterested, and distinguished himself with irreproachable honesty […] In eastern Transbaïkaal, the Baron became a legendary figure. […] He had many qualities: unheard-of audacity, honesty and a total disregard for material possessions. He was perfectly willing to live like the simplest private in his division and was often touchingly attentive to his men’s wellbeing. But sometimes he would go out of his mind, and unleash merciless cruelty of the type one would expect in the middle ages. He was constantly trying to establish contact with the nether world. […] He would never undertake anything without consulting the Dzurhaïtch Lamas.”


- Testimony of Ferdinand Ossendowsky:

“As I went through the door, a man dressed with a red silken Mongol tunic rushed towards me like a tiger, hurriedly shook my hand, and threw himself on a bed, in a corner of the tent. Nervous, staring fixedly into my eyes he said ‘Tell me who you are’. […] My observation lasted only a couple of seconds, but I immediately understood that standing before me was a dangerous man, capable of throwing himself without warning into irrevocable actions”.

- Testimony of Major Anton Alexandrowicz (commander of the Mongol army):

“Baron Ungern was an extraordinary man, with a very complicated nature, both psychologically and politically. To put it simply, his characteristics were the following:
- He was an arch-enemy of bolshevism which he considered a threat to humanity and its spiritual values.
- He despised the Russians who had betrayed their oaths of loyalty to the Czar and accepted the revolution.
- He preferred simple people to intellectuals
- He wished to create a great Asian Empire to fight against European material culture and the Soviets
- He was in contact with the Dalaï Lama, and Islamic representatives in Asia, and possessed the titles of ‘Priest’ and ‘Khan’.
- He was brutal and merciless as only sectary ascetics can and his lack of sensitivity was indescribable. He knew not pain, or fear, mercy, joy or sadness.
- He was of superior intelligence and great knowledge and could size-up any man in a few minutes.”

I think we’re dealing with something far more interesting than mere ‘madness’. I’ll be back in a couple of days for the remaining questions…
Cheers
Eddy

User avatar
Eddy Marz
Member
Posts: 559
Joined: 12 Mar 2007 11:32
Location: France

Post by Eddy Marz » 16 Jun 2007 19:16

While you're waiting for the rest, here's a pic of 'Ungern Kahn' at his trial. The trial took place in Novonikolaïevsk, on 15 September 1921, at the Sosnovka theatre (before a 'full house'). He was accused of :

- Being a Japanese agent
- Having fought communist society in view of a Romanov restoration
- Various crimes

The tribunal focused however on small details like, for instance, his family's earthly belongings (mansions etc.) as a sign that aristocrats were the source of every ill. He was declared guilty, condemned to death and shot the same day. Soon after his death rumors started circulating as to his survival, or that he was still at large in Mongolia. It is hard to establish where he was laid to rest, but the legend ran that if one would stand by his grave and call him, the Baron would answer...

Cheers
Eddy
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Eddy Marz
Member
Posts: 559
Joined: 12 Mar 2007 11:32
Location: France

Post by Eddy Marz » 18 Jun 2007 10:28

Hi Balrog;
Here’s the rest, sorry for the delay I was out of town.

Was Ungern’s rule in Mongolia heinous as reported? Most of the tales of Ungern’s ‘insane cruelty’ were constructed by Soviet propaganda, probably by operating an identity transfer from Ungern to Dja-Lama (a.k.a. Tuchegun Lama), an ex Buddhist monk who later became one of the most powerful Mongolian princes. Ungern was allegedly in touch with him at the onset of his quest (although no conclusive proof exists). Dja-Lama was renowned for his sadistic treatment of prisoners (crucifixion, live skinning etc.), particularly the Ulankar monastery Lamas and the Kirghiz population. He had a similar dream to those of Ungern and Semenov (i.e. to create an Asian Empire), and so you see that a transfer was relatively easy. Which doesn’t mean that Ungern wasn’t a tough customer. He is known to have exerted most severe disciplinary sanctions (including one beating to death for theft, a beheading for treason, and a few hangings); he is of course renowned for his very wild fits of rage. The famous humiliation, torture and massacre of 40 Jewish families episode (for Jews were associated with bolshevism) in Urga – attributed to Ungern by the Soviets – was in fact the work of Sipaïlov. Sipaïlov was an ex Czarist navy mechanic, had been tortured by the Bolsheviks and had his family killed. He worked first for Semenov (who sacked him because he was ‘insane’), then joined-up with Ungern. In Urga, he was a sadistic murderer, known as ‘the strangler’. Why did Ungern tolerate him? The only thread we have on this is that Ungern seemed more concentrated on his Asiatic Division and was often on outside missions (he was apparently absent when the massacre took place); nothing else mattered. Ungern is known to have violently thrashed Sipaïlov with his riding crop more than once (ref: Ossendowski). See, Sipaïlov is also a choice candidate for a Soviet personality transfer. In reality, while in Urga, Ungern re-instated the Bogdo-Geghen on his throne, set up a telephone network, repaired the electricity installations and abandoned telegraph station (which allowed him to keep touch with his many agents abroad), threw a couple of bridges across the Tula river, had the whole city cleaned by his troops, and set up a public transport system. He also created a newspaper, a small veterinary station, and a hospital (when Urga fell, the Chinese had abandoned a lot of gold and silver).

How big was his army? We’ll never know for sure and the details are scarce – sometimes minimized, often exaggerated). Let’s go for this: He started off with a number ranging around just a little over 1.000 badly equipped troops. At the Urga siege, he is credited with 1.600 Cossacks armed with old guns and little ammunition. When he left Urga in May 1921, he is credited with 3.000-4.000 men, 20 machine guns, and a few unspecified artillery pieces

Very little ‘real’ info about the Princess. First of all she wasn’t Mongol but Chinese, daughter of a high dignitary and member of the Imperial family. Father and daughter had fled the Sun Yat Sen republic. The marriage took place in Kharbine on 16 August 1919, but only on strategic grounds (to tie himself to what he hoped would be the restored dynasty), and divorce was pronounced the following year.

There you go…

Best regards
Eddy

User avatar
Balrog
Member
Posts: 1231
Joined: 17 Feb 2003 15:09
Location: USA, North Carolina/Manchukuo/Dominican Republic

Post by Balrog » 19 Jun 2007 11:04

Outstanding!

Wow.

You've turned the history I've read completely on its head. I've been able to gather information on the Baron from half a dozen history books(The books deal with the Red army and the Russian Civil War.). He barely rates a complete chapter by himself, and all of the books portray him in a very bad light. Most follow the Soviet propaganda line.

I have a few more questions. I read that the Baron was so out of control that a Japanese Army colonel, that had arrived to assit him with several dozen other Japanese officers, feared for his life and fled. The Baron sent word ahead to the Mongolian capital that the colonel was a "spy"
and the Chinese government troops executed him. Is that what happended?

How much did the Japanese government contribute to the Baron?

I'm really grateful to you, Eddy. This is more than I expected.

Thanks.

Return to “Other eras”