The Kerensky Offensive commonly known as the July Offensive or Galician Offensive, was the last Russian offensive in World War I. It took place in July 1917, it was decided by Alexander Kerensky, Minister of War in the Russian provisional government, led by General Brusilov. Such a decision was ill-timed, following the February Revolution, there were strong popular demands for peace within the Russian Army, whose fighting capabilities were deteriorating. Discipline within the Russian Army had reached a point of crisis since the Tsar's abdication; the Petrograd Soviet's "Order Number 1" tremendously weakened the power of officers, giving an over-riding mandate to "soldier committees". The abolition of the death penalty was another contributing factor, as was the high presence of revolutionary agitators at the front including Bolshevik agitators, who promoted a defeatist agenda. Riots and mutineering at the front became common, officers were the victims of soldier harassment and murder. Furthermore, the policy of the new government towards the war effort was one of fulfilling obligations towards Russia's allies, as opposed to fighting for the sake of total victory, thus giving soldiers a less credible motivation to fight.
However, Kerensky hoped that an important Russian victory would gain popular favour and restore the soldiers' morale, thus strengthening the weak provisional government and proving the effectiveness of "the most democratic army in the world", as he referred to it. Starting on July 1, 1917 the Russian troops attacked the Austro-Germans in Galicia, pushing toward Lviv; the operations involved the Russian 11th, 7th and 8th Armies and the Austro-German South Army and the Austrian 7th and 3rd Armies. After an initial success, the offensive was halted because the Russian soldiers soon mutinied and refused to fight, it collapsed altogether by July 16. On the 18th the Austro-Germans counterattacked, meeting little resistance and advancing through Galicia and Ukraine until the Zbruch River; the Russian lines were broken on the 20th, by the 23rd, the Russians had retreated about 240 kilometres. The Russian provisional government was weakened by this military catastrophe, the possibility of a Bolshevik coup d'état became real.
Far from strengthening Russian army morale, this offensive proved that Russian army morale no longer existed. No Russian general could now count on the soldiers under his command doing what they were ordered to do; this offensive helped the start of the July days. One last fight took the Russians in this war. On September 1, 1917 the Germans captured Riga; the Russian soldiers defending the town fled from the advancing German troops. The offensive was ordered by Alexander Kerensky, Minister of War in the Russian provisional government, led by General Brusilov; such a decision was ill-timed, following the February Revolution, there were strong popular demands for peace within the army, whose fighting capabilities were deteriorating. Discipline within the Russian Army had reached a point of crisis since the Tsar's abdication; the Petrograd Soviet's Order No. 1 tremendously weakened the power of officers, giving an over-riding mandate to "soldier committees". The abolition of the death penalty was another contributing factor, as was the high presence of revolutionary agitators at the front including Bolshevik agitators, who promoted a defeatist agenda.
What is more, the High Command failed to act appropriately, as they failed to combat the democratisation of the army and were sluggish in reacting to the difficulties that the officers had faced. There were few commands that Stavka was able to implement in regards to controlling the body of troops and restoring officer power. Riots and mutineering at the front became common and officers were the victims of soldier harassment and murder. Furthermore, the policy of the new government towards the war effort was one of fulfilling obligations towards Russia's allies, as opposed to fighting for the sake of total victory, thus giving soldiers a less credible motivation to fight. However, Kerensky hoped that an important Russian victory would gain popular favour and restore the soldiers' morale, thus strengthening the weak provisional government and proving the effectiveness of "the most democratic army in the world", as he referred to it. Brusilov deemed this the'last hope to which he could resort', as he saw the collapse of the army as inevitable.
Starting on July 1, 1917 the Russian troops attacked the Austro-Hungarian and German forces in Galicia, pushing toward Lviv. The operations involved the Russian 11th, 7th and 8th Armies against the Austro-Hungarian/German South Army and the Austro-Hungarian 7th and 3rd Armies. Initial Russian success was the result of powerful bombardment, such as the enemy never witnessed before on the Russian front. At first, the Austrians did not prove capable of resisting this bombardment, the broad gap in the enemy lines allowed the Russians to make some progress against the Austro-Hungarian 3rd Army. However, the German forces proved to be much harder to root out, their stubborn resistance resulted in heavy casualties among the attacking Russians; as Russian losses mounted, demoralisation of infantry soon began to tell, the further successes were only due to the work of cavalry and special "shock" battalio
Army General (Soviet rank)
Army general was a rank of the Soviet Union, first established in June 1940 as a high rank for Red Army generals, inferior only to the marshal of the Soviet Union. In the following 51 years the Soviet Union created 133 generals of the army, 32 of whom were promoted to the rank of marshal of the Soviet Union, it is a direct counterpart of the Russian Federation's "Army general" rank. The rank was given to senior officers of the Ministry of Defence and General Staff, to meritorious military district commanders. From the 1970s, it was frequently given to the heads of the KGB and the Ministry of the Interior. Soviet army generals include Aleksei Antonov, Issa Pliyev and Yuri Andropov; the Soviet rank of army general is comparable to NATO OF-9 level and equivalent to the UK and US ranks of general. The corresponding naval rank is admiral of the fleet, used in both the Soviet and Russian navies, although conferred much more rarely. Army general was used for the infantry and marines, but in the air force, armoured troops, engineer troops and signal troops the ranks of marshal of the branch and chief marshal of the branch were used.
Versions of rank insignia Army general in the USSR The contemporary Russian Army retains the rank of army general and it is still used. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union the ranks of marshal of the branch and chief marshal of the branch were abolished, the most senior officers of these branches now hold the rank of army general. Although chief marshals and marshals and admirals of the fleet were in service equivalent to the army general, in rank they superseded them until 1974 when the rank army general was formally equated with the chief marshals of a troop arm and marshals of a troop arm, it was at this time that their shoulder straps were changed from a four star to a single, larger star and the army logo. After 1974 they were permitted to wear the marshal's star necklace. Before 1943, army generals wore five stars on their collar patches. Since 1943, they have worn four stars on their shoulder straps. From 1974 they wore a single large star with a ground forces emblem. In 1997 their Russian successors returned to the four-star insignia.
In 2013 the single large star returned as the insignia for the rank of army general in the Russian Federation. Russian military ranks Army general Ranks and insignia of the Soviet Armed Forces 1943–1955, 1955–1991 Ranks and insignia of the Russian Federation's armed forces 1994–2010
Przemyśl is a city in south-eastern Poland with 66,756 inhabitants, as of June 2009. In 1999, it became part of the Subcarpathian Voivodeship. Przemyśl owes its rich history to the advantages of its geographic location; the city lies in an area connecting mountains and lowlands known as the Przemyśl Gate, with open lines of transportation, fertile soil. It lies on the navigable San River. Important trade routes that connect Central Europe from Przemyśl ensure the city's importance. Different names in various languages have identified the city throughout its history. Selected languages include: Bulgarian: Пшемишъл. Przemyśl, the second-oldest city in southern Poland, appears to date from as early as the 8th century; the region subsequently became part of the 9th-century Great Moravian state. Archeological remains testify to the presence of a monastic settlement as early as the 9th century. Przemyśl was one of the main strongholds of the Lendians. Upon the invasion of the Hungarian tribes into the heart of the Great Moravian Empire around 899, the Lendians of the area declared allegiance to the Hungarian authorities.
The Przemyśl region became a site of contention between Poland, Kievan Rus and Hungary beginning in at least the 9th century. The area was mentioned for the first time in 981 by Nestor, when Vladimir I of Kievan Rus took it over on the way into Poland. In 1018 Przemyśl returned to Poland, in 1031 it was retaken by Rus; the palatium complex was built during the rule of Bolesław I Chrobry. Between the 11th and 12th century the city was a capital of the Principality of Peremyshl, one of the principalities comprising the Kievan Rus' state. Sometime before 1218 an Eastern Orthodox eparchy was founded in the city. Przemyśl became part of the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia. In 1340 Przemyśl was taken by Casimir III of Poland and became part of the Polish kingdom as result of the Galicia–Volhynia Wars. Around this time the first Roman Catholic diocese was founded in the city, Przemyśl was granted city rights based on Magdeburg rights, confirmed in 1389 by king Władysław II Jagiełło; the city prospered as an important trade centre during the Renaissance period.
Like nearby Lviv, the city's population consisted of a great number of nationalities, including Poles, Jews, Germans and Armenians. The long period of prosperity enabled the construction of such handsome public buildings as the Old Synagogue of 1559. A Jesuit college was founded in the city in 1617; the prosperity came to an end in the middle of the 17th century, due to wartime destruction during The Deluge and the general decline of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth at this time. The city decline lasted for over a hundred years, only at the end of the 18th century did it recover its former levels of population. In 1754, the Roman Catholic bishop founded Przemyśl's first public library, only the second public library in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Przemyśl's importance at that time was such that when Austria annexed eastern Galicia in 1772 the Austrians considered making Przemyśl their provincial capital, before deciding on Lwów. In the mid-eighteenth century, Jews constituted 55.6% of the population, Roman Catholics 39.5%, Greek Catholics 4.8%.
In 1772, as a consequence of the First Partition of Poland, Przemyśl became part of the Austrian empire, in what the Austrians called the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. According to the Austrian census of 1830, the city was home to 7,538 people of whom 1,508 were members of the Greek Catholic Church, a larger number of Ruthenians than in most Galician cities. In 1804 a Ruthenian library was established in Przemyśl. By 1822 its collection had over 33,000 books and its importance for Ruthenians was comparable to that held by the Ossolineum library in Lviv for Poles. Przemyśl became the center of the revival of Byzantine choral music in the Greek Catholic Church; until eclipsed by Lviv in the 1830s, Przemyśl was the most important city in the Ruthenian cultural awakening in the nineteenth century. In 1861 the Galician Railway of Archduke Charles Louis was built connecting Przemyśl with Kraków to the west and Lviv to the east. In the middle of the 19th century, due to the growing conflict between Austria and Russia over the Balkans, Austria grew more mindful of Przemyśl's strategic location near the border with the Russian Empire.
During the Crimean War, when tensions mounted between Russia and Austria, a series of massive fortresses, 15 km in circumference, were built around the city by the Austrians. The census of 1910 showed. Roman Catholics were the most numerous – 25,306, followed by Jews – 16,062 and Greek Catholics – 12,018. With technological progress in artillery during the second half of the 19th century, the old fortifications became obsolete; the longer range of rifled artillery necessitated the redesign of fortresses so that they would be larger and able to resist the newly available guns. To achieve this, between the years 1888 and 1914 Przemyśl was turned into a first class fortress, the third largest in Europe out of about 200 that were built in this period. Around the city, in a circle of circumference 45 km, 44 forts of various sizes were built; the older fortifications were modernised to provide the fortress with an internal defence ring. The fortress was des
Cavalry or horsemen are soldiers or warriors who fight mounted on horseback. Cavalry were the most mobile of the combat arms. An individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, dragoon, or trooper; the designation of cavalry was not given to any military forces that used other animals, such as camels, mules or elephants. Infantry who moved on horseback, but dismounted to fight on foot, were known in the 17th and early 18th centuries as dragoons, a class of mounted infantry which evolved into cavalry proper while retaining their historic title. Cavalry had the advantage of improved mobility, a man fighting from horseback had the advantages of greater height and inertial mass over an opponent on foot. Another element of horse mounted warfare is the psychological impact a mounted soldier can inflict on an opponent; the speed and shock value of the cavalry was appreciated and exploited in armed forces in the Ancient and Middle Ages. In Europe cavalry became armoured, became known for the mounted knights.
During the 17th century cavalry in Europe lost most of its armor, ineffective against the muskets and cannon which were coming into use, by the mid-19th century armor had fallen into disuse, although some regiments retained a small thickened cuirass that offered protection against lances and sabres and some protection against shot. In the period between the World Wars, many cavalry units were converted into motorized infantry and mechanized infantry units, or reformed as tank troops. However, some cavalry still served during World War II, notably in the Red Army, the Mongolian People's Army, the Royal Italian Army, the Romanian Army, the Polish Land Forces, light reconnaissance units within the Waffen SS. Most cavalry units that are horse-mounted in modern armies serve in purely ceremonial roles, or as mounted infantry in difficult terrain such as mountains or forested areas. Modern usage of the term refers to units performing the role of reconnaissance and target acquisition. In many modern armies, the term cavalry is still used to refer to units that are a combat arm of the armed forces which in the past filled the traditional horse-borne land combat light cavalry roles.
These include scouting, skirmishing with enemy reconnaissance elements to deny them knowledge of own disposition of troops, forward security, offensive reconnaissance by combat, defensive screening of friendly forces during retrograde movement, restoration of command and control, battle handover and passage of lines, relief in place, breakout operations, raiding. The shock role, traditionally filled by heavy cavalry, is filled by units with the "armored" designation. Before the Iron Age, the role of cavalry on the battlefield was performed by light chariots; the chariot originated with the Sintashta-Petrovka culture in Central Asia and spread by nomadic or semi-nomadic Indo-Iranians. The chariot was adopted by settled peoples both as a military technology and an object of ceremonial status by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom of Egypt as well as the Assyrian army and Babylonian royalty; the power of mobility given by mounted units was recognized early on, but was offset by the difficulty of raising large forces and by the inability of horses to carry heavy armor.
Cavalry techniques were an innovation of equestrian nomads of the Central Asian and Iranian steppe and pastoralist tribes such as the Iranic Parthians and Sarmatians. The photograph above left shows Assyrian cavalry from reliefs of 865–860 BC. At this time, the men had no spurs, saddle cloths, or stirrups. Fighting from the back of a horse was much more difficult than mere riding; the cavalry acted in pairs. At this early time, cavalry used swords and bows; the sculpture implies two types of cavalry. Images of Assyrian cavalry show saddle cloths as primitive saddles, allowing each archer to control his own horse; as early as 490 BC a breed of large horses was bred in the Nisaean plain in Media to carry men with increasing amounts of armour, but large horses were still exceptional at this time. By the fourth century BC the Chinese during the Warring States period began to use cavalry against rival states, by 331 BC when Alexander the Great defeated the Persians the use of chariots in battle was obsolete in most nations.
The last recorded use of chariots as a shock force in continental Europe was during the Battle of Telamon in 225 BC. However, chariots remained in use for ceremonial purposes such as carrying the victorious general in a Roman triumph, or for racing. Outside of mainland Europe, the southern Britons met Julius Caesar with chariots in 55 and 54 BC, but by the time of the Roman conquest of Britain a century chariots were obsolete in Britannia; the last mention of chariot use in Britain was by the Caledonians at the Mons Graupius, in 84 AD. During the classical Greek period cavalry were limited to those citizens who could afford expensive war-horses. Three types of cavalry became common: light cavalry, whose riders, armed with javelins, could harass and skirmish.
Baltic Military District
The Baltic Military District was a military district of the Soviet armed forces in the occupied Baltic states, formed before the German invasion during the World War II. After end of the war the Kaliningrad Oblast was added to the District's control in 1946, the territory of Estonia was transferred back to the Baltic Military District from the Leningrad Military District in 1956; the Baltic Military District was disbanded after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and reorganised into the North Western Group of Forces, which ended its existence after withdrawal of all Russian troops from Estonia and Lithuania on 1 September 1994. The Baltic Military District was first created by order of the USSR People's Commissar of Defence on 11 July 1940, under the command of Colonel General Alexander Loktionov, its headquarters was formed from the headquarters of the disbanded Kalinin Military District in Riga on 13 August. This was after the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States but before they were forcibly absorbed into the Soviet Union.
It controlled troops on the territory of the Latvian and Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republics as well as the western part of Kalinin Oblast. On 17 August 1940 it became the Baltic Special Military District, changing its boundaries to control troops on the territory of Estonian and Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republics; the western part of Kalinin Oblast was transferred to control of the Moscow Military District. The district was created in order to strengthen the defense of the northwestern borders of the Soviet Union and to protect the approaches to Moscow and Leningrad from German-controlled East Prussia; the district troops cooperated with the Baltic Fleet. In August, the district included the 8th and 11th Armies, soon augmented in September by the transformation of the Estonian and Lithuanian armies into the Red Army's 22nd, 24th Territorial, 29th Territorial Rifle Corps respectively; however they were notoriously unreliable and defected in large numbers to the Germans after June 1941. In 1940 and 1941 the district formed new units, including two mechanized corps, as well as local and republic military commissariats.
Loktionov was replaced by Lieutenant General Fyodor Kuznetsov in December 1940. In May 1941, the headquarters of the 27th Army was formed by the district. At the same time, the district headquarters developed a plan for responding to a German invasion, ordered that troops be brought to combat readiness on 18 June. However, by 22 June, when Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the district's newly formed units were not manned; when the war broke out, it included six rifle corps in the 8th, 11th, 27th Armies, the 5th Airborne Corps, the 3rd and 12th Mechanized Corps, six fortified regions. According to the district's plan, the 8th, 11th, 27th Armies were to cooperate with the Baltic Fleet in defending the coast from Haapsalu to Palanga, focusing on the defense of the 300-kilometer border with East Prussia. On 22 June 1941 the District consisted of the: 8th Army 11th Army 27th Army 5th Airborne Corps and other smaller formations and units.3rd Mechanised Corps was located within the district at Vilnius.
On 22 June, after the outbreak of the war, the district headquarters was used to form the headquarters of the Northwestern Front. Parts of the former district headquarters remained in Riga, led by the deputy district commander, evacuating to Valga on 1 July and to Novgorod, where they were disbanded; the Baltic Military District was formed for a second time in accordance with a directive of the General Staff of the Red Army on 30 October 1943, although its assigned territory was at that time still under German occupation. Its headquarters was formed in Vyshny Volochyok from that of the 58th Army, under the command of Major General Nikolay Biyazi; the district was disbanded on 23 March 1944, was used to form the headquarters of the Odessa Military District. Postwar, the district was formed for a third time on 9 July 1945 at Riga on the basis of Samland Group of Forces formed from the former 1st Baltic Front, under the command of Army General Ivan Bagramyan, who would lead it until 1954, it included only the Latvian and Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republics.
Following the disbandment on 27 February 1946 of the Special Military District, administering Kaliningrad Oblast, the oblast was transferred to district control on 1 March. The Special Military District headquarters was reorganized into the 11th Guards Army headquarters. In January 1956 the territory of the Estonian SSR was transferred from the Leningrad Military District. Circa 1944 a headquarters for Internal Troops in the area was created, which became HQ Internal Troops NKVD-MVD-MGB Baltic MD; this headquarters supervised several Internal Troops divisions, including the 14th Railway Facilities Protection Division NKVD from 1944 to 1951. Other divisions deployed included the 4th, 5th, 63rd Rifle Divisions NKVD. On 30 April 1948 10th Guards Army became 4th Guards Rifle Corps; the main combat formation within the District was the 11th Guards Army in the Kaliningrad Oblast, following the disbandment of 10th Guards Army. In the 1950s it comprised the 1st TD and all the remaining Guards formations - 2nd Rifle Corps, 16th Koenigsberg Red Banner Rifle Corps and 36th Nemanskiy Red Banner Rifle Corps.
In 1955 the district's forces comprised the 11th Guards Army, the 2nd Guards Rifle Corps, the 4th Guards Rifle Corps, the 1st Guards Rifle Division, the 5th, the 16th
Marshal of the Soviet Union
Marshal of the Soviet Union was the highest military rank of the Soviet Union. The rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union was created in 1935 and abolished in 1991, forty-one people held this rank; the equivalent naval rank was until 1955 Admiral of the fleet and from 1955 Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union. Both ranks were comparable to NATO rank codes OF-10, to the five-star rank in anglophone armed forces. While the supreme rank of Generalissimus of the Soviet Union, which would have been senior to Marshal of the Soviet Union, was proposed for Joseph Stalin after the Second World War, it was never approved; the military rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union was established by a decree of the Soviet Cabinet, the Council of People's Commissars, on 22 September 1935. On 20 November, the rank was conferred on five people: People's Commissar of Defence and veteran Bolshevik Kliment Voroshilov, Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army Alexander Ilyich Yegorov, three senior commanders, Vasily Blyukher, Semyon Budyonny, Mikhail Tukhachevsky.
Of these, Blyukher and Yegorov were executed during Stalin's Great Purge of 1937–38. On 7 May 1940, three new Marshals were appointed: the new People's Commissar of Defence, Semyon Timoshenko, Boris Shaposhnikov, Grigory Kulik. During World War II, Kulik was demoted for incompetence, the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union was given to a number of military commanders who earned it on merit; these included Ivan Konev and Konstantin Rokossovsky to name a few. In 1943, Stalin himself was made a Marshal of the Soviet Union, in 1945, he was joined by his intelligence and police chief Lavrenti Beria; these non-military Marshals were joined in 1947 by politician Nikolai Bulganin. Two Marshals were executed in postwar purges: Kulik in 1950 and Beria in 1953, following Stalin's death. Thereafter the rank was awarded only to professional soldiers, with the exception of Leonid Brezhnev, who made himself a Marshal in 1976, Ustinov, prominent in the arms industry and was appointed Defence Minister in July 1976.
The last Marshal of the Soviet Union was Dmitry Yazov, appointed in 1990, imprisoned after the failed coup against Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991. Marshal Sergei Akhromeev committed suicide in 1991 during the fall of the Soviet Union; the Marshals fell into three generational groups. Those who had gained their reputations during the Russian Civil War; these included both those who were purged in 1937–38, those who held high commands in the early years of World War II. All of the latter except Shaposhnikov and Timoshenko proved out-of-step with modern warfare and were removed from commanding positions; those who made their reputations in World War II and assumed high commands in the latter part of the war. These included Zhukov, Konev, Malinovsky and Govorov; those who assumed high command in the Cold War era. All of these were officers in World War II, but their higher commands were held in the Warsaw Pact or as Soviet Defence Ministers; these included Grechko, Kulikov, Ogarkov and Yazov. All Marshals in the third category had been officers in World War II, except Brezhnev, a commissar and Ustinov, People's Commissar for Armaments.
Yazov, 20 when the war ended, had been a platoon commander. The rank was abolished with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, it was succeeded in the new Russia by the rank of Marshal of the Russian Federation, held by only one person, Marshal Igor Sergeyev, Russian Defence Minister from 1997 to 2001. Note: All Marshals of the Soviet Union, with the exception of Non-Military Marshals, had at least started their military careers in the Army; the Service Arms listed are the services they served in during their respective tenures as Marshals of the Soviet Union. Generalissimus of the Soviet Union Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union Marshal of the Russian Federation History of Russian military ranks Military ranks of the Soviet Union Marshal of the branch Chief marshal of the branch Field Marshal of Imperial Russia Ranks and insignia of the Red Army and Navy 1935–1940, 1940–1943 Ranks and rank insignia of the Soviet Armed Forces 1943–1955, 1955–1991 Biographies of all the Marshals of the USSR
Kolyma is a region located in the Russian Far East. It is bounded by the East Siberian Sea and the Arctic Ocean in the north and the Sea of Okhotsk to the south; the region gets its name from the Kolyma River and mountain range, parts of which were not discovered until 1926. Today the region consists of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and the Magadan Oblast; the area, part of, within the Arctic Circle, has a subarctic climate with cold winters lasting up to six months of the year. Permafrost and tundra cover a large part of the region. Average winter temperatures range from −19 °C to −38 °C, average summer temperatures, from +3 °C to +16 °C. There are rich reserves of gold, tin, mercury, antimony, coal and peat. Twenty-nine zones of possible oil and gas accumulation have been identified in the Sea of Okhotsk shelf. Total reserves are estimated at 3.5 billion tons of equivalent fuel, including 1.2 billion tons of oil and 1.5 billion m3 of gas. The principal town Magadan has nearly 100,000 inhabitants and is the largest port in north-eastern Russia.
It remains open year-round thanks to icebreakers. Magadan is served by the nearby Sokol Airport. There are many private farming enterprises. Gold mines and sausage factories, fishing companies, a distillery form the city's industrial base. During archaeological investigations of Paleolithic sites on the Angara, in 1936 the unique Stone Age site of Buret’ was discovered which yielded an anthropomorphic sculpture, skulls of rhinoceroses, surface and semisubterranean dwellings; the houses were analogous, on one hand, to Paleolithic European houses and, on the other, to ethnographically studied houses of the Eskimos and Koryaks. The indigenous peoples of this region include the Evens, Yupiks, Orochs and Itelmens, who traditionally lived from fishing along the Sea of Okhotsk coast or from reindeer herding in the River Kolyma valley. Under Joseph Stalin's rule, Kolyma became the most notorious region for the Gulag labor camps. Tens of thousands or more people may have died en route to the area or in the Kolyma's series of gold mining, road building and construction camps between 1932 and 1954.
It was Kolyma's reputation that caused Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, author of The Gulag Archipelago, to characterize it as the "pole of cold and cruelty" in the Gulag system. The Mask of Sorrow monument in Magadan commemorates all those who died in the Kolyma forced-labour camps and the dedicated Church of the Nativity remembers the victims in its icons and Stations of the Camps. Gold and platinum were discovered in the region in the early 20th century. During the time of the USSR's industrialization the need for capital to finance economic development was great; the abundant gold resources of the area seemed tailor-made to provide this capital. A government agency Dalstroy was formed to organize the exploitation of the area. Prisoners were being drawn into the Soviet penal system in large numbers during the initial period of Kolyma's development, most notably from the so-called anti-Kulak campaign and the government's internal war to force collectivization on the USSR's peasantry; these prisoners formed a available workforce.
The initial efforts to develop the region began in 1932, with the building of the town of Magadan by forced labor. After a gruelling train ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway prisoners were disembarked at one of several transit camps and transported across the Sea of Okhotsk to the natural harbor chosen for Magadan's construction. Conditions aboard the ships were harsh. According to a 1987 article in Time Magazine: "During the 1930s the only way to reach Magadan was by ship from Khabarovsk, which created an island psychology and the term Gulag archipelago. Within the crowded prison ships thousands died during transportation. One survivor's memoir recounts that the prison ship Dzhurma was caught in the autumn ice in 1933 while trying to get to the mouth of the Kolyma River; when it reached port the following spring, it guards. All 12,000 prisoners were missing, left dead on the ice." It turns out that this incident reported since it was first mentioned in a book published in 1947, could not have happened as the ship Dzhurma was not in Soviet hands until mid 1935.
In 1932 expeditions pushed their way into the interior of the Kolyma, embarking on the construction of the Kolyma Highway, to become known as the Road of Bones. About 80 different camps dotted the region of the uninhabited taiga; the original director of the Kolyma camps was a Cheka officer. Berzin was removed and shot during the period of the Great Purges in the USSR. At the height of the Purges, around 1937, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's account quotes camp commander Naftaly Frenkel as establishing the new law of the Archipelago: "We have to squeeze everything out of a prisoner in the first three months—after that we don't need him anymore." The system of hard labor and minimal or no food reduced most prisoners to helpless "goners". Conditions varied depending on the state of the country. Many of the prisoners in Kolyma were intellectuals, they included Mikhail Kravchuk, a Ukrainian mathematician who by the early 1930s had received considerable acclaim in the West. After a summary trial for reluctance to take part in the accusations of some of his colle