Parents predicted a career in civilian direction for Nicholas, but for the young man there was no doubt: his vocation was military craft. He enrolled at the 3rd Alexander Military School and certainly received top grades in all disciplines. Yudenich’s education did not end there: he received a referral to the Nikolaev Academy of the General Staff.
In 1892, Yudenich was appointed senior aide to the headquarters of the Turkestan Military District. After 4 years, he became a colonel, to which he was solely obliged to his talent and ability to work - no protection to Nikolai Nikolayevich was provided. According to the memoirs of contemporaries, Yudenich was simple in communication, there was not a shadow of arrogance in him. He never raised his voice for his subordinates and was distinguished by hospitality: in his apartment almost every evening his colleagues gathered.
During the Russo-Japanese War, Yudenich drew up a brilliant reputation. Thus, he distinguished himself in the battle of Mukden, reflecting several massive enemy strikes and personally leading a counterattack. For the leadership, it became clear that Yudenich was able to make bold tactical decisions, based on the specific situation - the quality for the military leader is very valuable. For his success, Nikolai Nikolayevich was awarded the Order of St.. Vladimir 3rd degree with swords, the Order of St.. Stanislav 1st degree with swords. During the hostilities, he was seriously wounded and was in the hospital until 1907.
During the First World War, Yudenich commanded the Caucasian army. For the capture of the Turkish fortress of Erzerum, he received the Order of St. George.
After the February revolution, Yudenich was appointed commander of the Caucasian Front, but he held the post for only a month. Nikolai Nikolayevich stood up in opposition to the Provisional Government, and he was recalled to Petrograd. The clouds were gathering over him: it was clear what the disagreement with the official course would lead to.
Once Yudenich went to the bank; the staff recognized him and advised him to withdraw all his savings and immediately sell the property. He followed this advice, which allowed him to provide for his family during the upcoming disgrace.
The October Revolution broke out, and now Yudenich lived in Petrograd illegally. He managed to go abroad only in 1919 - together with his family he went to Finland on forged documents.
The commander categorically did not accept the new power. His main goal, he saw the expulsion of the Bolsheviks. Members of the “Russian Committee” in Helsinki offered Yudenich to become the leader of the white movement in northwest Russia. He went to Estonia, where he began to form troops, trying to enlist the support (including financial) of foreign allies. However, he understood perfectly well that he could not count on these allies especially. “It’s not a Russian thing; to Russia, to its borders, comrades do not care: it only seems that they are restoring Russia. If they win, Russia will perish, ”said Nikolai Nikolayevich. The strategic goals of the parties were different: for example, the Estonian army sought to knock the Red Army units out of the country, the Russians wanted to defeat the Bolsheviks who had seized power.
In May 1919, Yudenich led the offensive of the white units (including the Finnish and Estonian units) against Petrograd, which ended in failure. In September, he led the second campaign, which was doomed to failure due to friction with its allies - Estonians, British, Finns. Yudenich was forced to withdraw the troops back; in Estonia they were interned by the allies. The general was arrested, but then released at the request of the Entente.
He traveled to England, where he avoided the attention of journalists and lived a reclusive. Yudenich spent the last years of his life in France: during this period he withdrew from politics and took part in the work of Russian educational organizations.
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