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NIKOLAEV - GERMAN OCCUPATION
[Other spellings Nikolaiev,
Nikolayev, Mykolaiv, and on the estuary of Yuzhny Bug River, about 40 miles (65
km) from the Black Sea.
March 17, 1918 (March 4,
1918 old style) The Germans take Nikolayev.
Soviet power was
established in Nikolaev on Jan. 14(27), 1918. From Mar. 17, 1918, the city
was occupied by Austrian and German troops, and from December 1918, by
Anglo-French interventionist forces. On Aug. 17, 1919, it was occupied by
the White Guards. On Jan. 31, 1920, it was finally liberated by the Red
By 18 February 1918, the Russians had evacuated the last
zone occupied by them in Eastern Galicia (Western Ukraine), which was
immediately reoccupied by the Austrians. There began on the same day a rapid
movement by the Germans eastward along the railway lines. The southern wing
(Lisingen) went via Rovno/Rivne and Zhitomir, such that, by the end of
February, it was before Kiev, which was occupied on 3rd March. The Germans
then occupied Odessa on the 13th, Nikolaev/Mykolaiv
on the 17th and Khar'kov/Kharkiv on 8 April 1918 ...
27th Jäger Battalion: Subordinate to the 16th Infantry
Brigade of the 30th Infantry Division on 28 February 1918. It was in
Nikolaev/Mykolaiv on 1st June (in Odessa,
according to other sources) with the German 212th Infantry Division of the
17th Army Corps. It was subordinate on 15th June to the 60th Brigade of the
30th Infantry Division; on 30th August with the German 42nd Infantry
Division in Nikolaev, directly subordinate to
the Ostarmee. Under the 2nd Cavalry Division on 15th October ...
After the French units
the 15th German division
moved to Nikolaïeff and
the idle time proved
damaging to some Germans
who were influenced by
the Reds. Its officers, lacking in all authority, failed to control some men. The Germans delayed sending delegates to Kharkov, to negotiate with the commissioner of Moscow. Vice-Admiral Hopman (the former commander of the German fleet of the Black Sea), was sent to delay the implementation of armistice in South Russia, and to apprise the French authorities of the state of affairs and to await instructions. Fortunately, General d'Anselme received information on the arrival of a couple of battalions from the 7th Greek Regiment hurried from Salonica. Destined for Nikolaïeff, Anselme invited Admiral Hopman to prepare for the relief of German soldiers according to the armistice. Hopman, dragged his feet about this, allowing his men to be disruptive to its implementation. Nearby, there was close danger from an attack by red forces. Gregorieff , controlled Red forces near Ekaterinoslav and threatened Nikolaïeff and Kherson. The Reds entered Kiev and advanced towards Kharkov opposed by White Forces near the Sea of Azov. His military equipment came from the older Austrian-Hungarian stockpiles, they were no substitute for German soldiers.
Petlioura, another Red leader, penetrated into Odessa on Dec.10 1918, but his force of 1.500 volunteers were afraid to march on the harbor defended by French seamen and 300 Poles. By December 18, the battalions the French 156th division (Général Borius) took possession of the city. The French chased the Reds hundreds of kilometres to the north of the city and north-easterly to Nikolaïev. Despite the French presence, much civil unrest continued with 100,000 armed civil workers on strike in Odessa, and the 40.000 blue-collar workers in Nikolaïev, who were provoked by the Germans; the 20.000 blue-collar workers of Kherson received their orders from Grégorieff, all of them were pro-bolshevik. The French had stepped into a hornet’s nest and by April 1919, they would leave the Ukraine to the Reds.
On 2 March 1919.... Some hoped that the Germans might return from
Nikolaev where the
last remaining detachment was waiting to leave for home ....
- At Nikolaev [in 1919] there was a
German garrison of approximately twelve thousand, but they were of doubtful
value to the Allied cause. French officers suspected the Germans of sympathy
for the local Bolsheviks in Nikolaev ... it was clear that the Germans had
no desire to join the Allies in a crusade against Bolshevism ...
An extraordinary medley of
events had been taking place in Odessa. The 7th
German Landwehr Division, sent there in November
to take over from the absconding Austrians, was
duly cut off from Kiev and found that it could
not fight its way through the swarms of 'Petlyurians'
who were occupying the station of Birzula
Meanwhile the Germans were
trying to remain strictly neutral. During the
previous week the bulk of the Landwehr Division
had succeeded in getting away, but there still
remained in Odessa about 1600 German troops and
a battery of field artillery. The 15th Landwehr
Division in Nikolaev
[southern Ukraine] was in the same position: it
too was cut off from communication with the
German Command in Kiev ...
French troops were now quartered
in Odessa ... The command was vested in the
French General d'Anselm, who proceeded to
entrust the 15th German Landwehr Division with
the maintenance of law and order in
On 10 March began the evacuation
by sea of the 7th Landwehr Division from Odessa
and of the 15th Landwehr Division from
Nikolaev. In the
latter city the bands of Grigoriev entered the
burning suburbs while the Germans were still