Pavel Bermondt-Avalov
Pavel Rafalovich Bermont-Avalov (Avalishvili) (4 March 1877 – 27 January 1974) was an Ussuri Cossack
Ussuri Cossacks
Ussuri Cossack Host was a Cossack Host in Imperial Russia, located in Primorye south of Khabarovsk along the Ussuri River, the Sungari River, and around the Khanka Lake....

 and warlord
A warlord is a person with power who has both military and civil control over a subnational area due to armed forces loyal to the warlord and not to a central authority. The term can also mean one who espouses the ideal that war is necessary, and has the means and authority to engage in war...


Early life

Bermondt-Avalov was born at Tbilisi
Tbilisi is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mt'k'vari River. The name is derived from an early Georgian form T'pilisi and it was officially known as Tiflis until 1936...

, modern Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

. He adopted his second surname Avalov (Avalishvili
Avalishvili was a Georgian noble family, which branched off the Panaskerteli-Tsitsishvili house in the 16th century. The initial appanage of the family was located in the historical area called Tori and now known as the Borjomi Gorge with its center at the village of Sadgeri...

) after his adoptive father, Georgian
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 prince Mikhail Avalishvili. He received a musical education joining the Ussuri cossacks in 1906 after serving as a musical conductor in the Transbaikal cossacks. He joined a regiment of Lancers in 1909 and was promoted to Captain in 1914.

Civil War

He was appointed to lead the German-established Western Russian army (subsequently frequently known after his name as "the Bermontians") which was meant to go to fight the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

, but, believing that communists would be defeated without his help, Pavel Bermondt-Avalov decided to strike against the newly independent nations of Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 and Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

 instead. His "Special Russians Corps" supposedly numbered about 50,000 men, mostly Baltic Germans as well as some Russian POWs recruited from Germans camps, but is unlikely to have numbered more than 20,000 fighting men. He was one of the few anti-communist generals who openly propagandized monarchist ideals.

Bermondt-Avalov was promoted Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 in 1918. He took over the White Forces
White movement
The White movement and its military arm the White Army - known as the White Guard or the Whites - was a loose confederation of Anti-Communist forces.The movement comprised one of the politico-military Russian forces who fought...

 in the Baltic
Baltic region
The terms Baltic region, Baltic Rim countries, and Baltic Rim refer to slightly different combinations of countries in the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea.- Etymology :...

 from Prince Anatoly Lieven
Anatoly Lieven
Prince Anatoly Pavlovich Lieven, , was a Baltic German prince of the Lieven family who commanded a counter-revolutionary White movement during the Russian Civil War in Latvia known after him as the Liventsy ....

, who commanded a contingent in the Baltische Landwehr. In 1919, his forces joined those of Major General Rüdiger von der Goltz
Rüdiger von der Goltz
Gustav Adolf Joachim Rüdiger, Graf von der Goltz was German Army general during World War I. After World War I he was the commander of the army of the Baltic German-established Government of Latvia, which played an instrumental role in the defeat of Russian Bolsheviks and their local allies in...

 to form the so-called "West Russian Volunteer Army
West Russian Volunteer Army
The West Russian Volunteer Army or Bermontians was an army in the Baltic provinces of the former Russian Empire during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1920....

" which attempted to proclaim the "Western Central Government" in Riga. The Western Russian army managed to capture Zemgale, Courland
Courland is one of the historical and cultural regions of Latvia. The regions of Semigallia and Selonia are sometimes considered as part of Courland.- Geography and climate :...

 (except Liepāja
Liepāja ; ), is a republican city in western Latvia, located on the Baltic Sea directly at 21°E. It is the largest city in the Kurzeme Region of Latvia, the third largest city in Latvia after Riga and Daugavpils and an important ice-free port...

), Samogitia
Samogitia is one of the five ethnographic regions of Lithuania. It is located in northwestern Lithuania. Its largest city is Šiauliai/Šiaulē. The region has a long and distinct cultural history, reflected in the existence of the Samogitian dialect...

 and entered Riga
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 702,891 inhabitants Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial,...

, but later were defeated by the Latvian and Lithuanian armies, with the help of the Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

n forces. This Baltic diversion of Bermondt-Avalov heavily contributed to his already existing reputation as an adventurer (such as General Bulak-Balakovich).

Post War

Pavel Bermondt-Avalov then emigrated to Western Europe, where he published a book of memoirs. He lived in Germany from 1921 and was involved in right wing movements. He was imprisoned by the Nazis in 1936 and deported. He settled in Belgrade and later moved to the USA. Pavel Bermondt-Avalov died in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, USA, in 1974.
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