1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kaledin, Alexei

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1922 Encyclopædia Britannica
Kaledin, Alexei
See also Alexei Kaledin on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

KALEDIN, ALEXEI (1861-1918), Russian general, was born in 1861, and entered the army in 1882. For some years he served in the artillery and then, on passing out of the General Staff Academy in 1889, he was appointed on the general staff. He reached the rank of general in 1907, and when the World War broke out in 1914 he was at the head of the 12th Cavalry Division. With this division he served in the Galician campaigns of 1914-5, in which his marked qualities of leadership soon showed themselves. In March 1915 he was seriously wounded. Later in 1915 he commanded the XII. Corps, and in the beginning of 1916 the VIII. Army. With this army, in 1916, he carried out the great offensive campaign of Lutsk. More than 100,000 prisoners and much booty were the results of his summer battles. In May 1917, being out of sympathy with the policy of the Provisional Government, which was causing the disintegration of the army, he resigned his post as an army commander. In the summer of the same year he was elected Ataman of the Don. His popularity among the Cossacks did not cease, even after the conflict between Kornilov and Kerensky. Notwithstanding the latter's demand that Kaledin should come to Moscow to explain his conduct during the Kornilov affair, the Cossack parliament forbade him to go, fearing some treachery in relation to Kaledin. After the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks and the conclusion of their armistice with the Germans, he called up the Cossack regiments to the Don. The great moral influence he exercised over the Cossacks kept them at first from internal anarchy and aroused them to an armed defence of the Don district against invasion by the Bolsheviks. He thus made it possible for Generals Alexeiev and Kornilov, in Dec. 1917, to muster the troops of the Volunteer Army to the south of the Don district. But in the beginning of 1918 an inner fermentation began on the Don; on the front the Cossacks began to surrender to the Bolsheviks. The Volunteer Army left the Don and went to the Kuban district. When all means of saving the Don Cossacks from Bolshevism were exhausted, Kaledin, hoping even at the last to rally the Cossacks by an act of self-devotion, shot himself on Feb. 11 1918.

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