An excerpt from the book "Memories" by Peter Wrangel:
Tiny Crimea, in the complete absence of natural wealth, was supposed to receive, feed and pay for many months and the army, and the infinitely oversized rears of the Armed Forces of the South of Russia.
The inept financial policy, the stubborn refusal of General Denikin to use the enormous natural wealth of the south of Russia to attract foreign capital, the imperfection of the tax apparatus, led to the fact that the entire financial system was reduced to the printing of bank notes. However, new and new issues could not meet the monetary need, continuously increasing, as the depreciation of banknotes with their endless issues. During the departure from the four expeditions to the Crimea, the procurement of state papers was partly taken out and inactive, partly died. The expedition remaining in Feodosia did not have time to type. With the loss of our entire south of Russia and the abandonment by us of our allies, the already insignificant amounts held in banks and in the hands of the financial agents of the main command abroad could not be considered securely secured from being seized by numerous creditors.
The army had more than 150,000 mouths, but only about one sixth of them could be honored as combat elements, the rest were wounded, sick, disabled people of different categories, students of cadet corps and military schools, a huge number of reserve officials, in most cases elderly , ranks of numerous rear institutions.
Crimea by local means was poor and in peacetime he lived at the expense of rich Northern Tavria; now with a population that had grown to a considerable degree, with an economic apparatus frustrated with the long years of German and civil war, he could not feed the population and the army. In the cities of the southern coast of Sevastopol, Yalta, Feodosia and Kerch, due to the difficult transportation from the north, there was not enough bread. Bread prices have been rising steadily. It lacked perfect and essential fats. There was no coal, and not only the fleet, but also rail transport were under threat.
Huge reserves of uniforms and equipment were thrown in the south of Russia and there was nothing to supply to the army, which was largely unarmed and unarmed. There were few rifles, there were not enough machine guns and guns, almost all the tanks, armored vehicles and airplanes were left in the hands of the enemy. Few surviving combat vehicles could not be used for the complete absence of gasoline. Ognepripas, especially artillery shells, could suffice only for a short time.
The surviving guns had nothing to harness. The cavalry was left without horses, and the only cavalry unit was General Morozov’s second cavalry division (about 2000 drafts), which was part of General Slaschov’s corps, which had departed from the north by dry formation. In addition to this corps, all the troops that had departed for the Crimea lost their carts. In the poor horse-breeding facilities of the Crimea, the shortage of horse was not possible to replenish, especially with the coming time of spring field work.
The troops for many months of indiscriminate retreat left the hands of the chiefs. Drunkenness, arbitrariness, robbery and even murder became commonplace in the parking areas of most units.
The collapse reached and the top of the army. Politicized, intrigued, bred unworthy squabbles and machinations. Fertile soil opened up a wide field of activity for large and small adventurers. Especially outsiders were noisy, consumed by unsatisfied ambition, generals who advanced not according to merit: former commander of the Caucasian army, General Pokrovsky, General Borovsky, associate of the predatory raid of General Mamontov, his chief of staff, General Postovsky. A gang of all kinds of rogues, former officials of numerous counterintelligence agencies, Osvag's secret department, etc., gathered around them.
The attitude of the local Tatar population was generally sympathetic. True, the Tatars reluctantly went to the troops, in every possible way evading calls, but no hostile manifestations on the part of the population have hitherto been observed. The mood in the cities, especially in the port cities, with an alien, largely industrial population, also generally did not inspire any particular anxiety, although under the influence of the work of the Social Revolutionaries, who had managed to penetrate the local municipalities in significant numbers among local port workers, Sevastopol has already had significant unrest.
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