White History of the Black Baron Topic: Wrangel, Pyotr
He was called "the black baron" not because he epitomized the powers of evil, though this was how he was perceived by the Reds. Simply, like any dashing rider, baron Pyotr Wrangel wore a long, black, open fronted cherkesska coats with narrow bullet pockets and a black Cossack hat (swapping them for white ones on special occasions). The lyrics of a well-known revolutionary song going back to the times of the Civil war "White Army and Black baron are getting ready for us the tsar's throne again" referred to Wrangel, the last commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces in Russia's South.
In spite of his German name, he came from an old Baltic clan that had long been Russianized – the name of one Wrangel was even inscribed on the walls of Christ the Savior's Cathedral. He was one of those who perished defending his Fatherland in 1812. And the name of his remote kin, the well-known polar researcher and admiral Fyodor Wrangel was given to an island in the Arctic. Another Wrangel captured the famous fortress Shamil. The history of the Wrangel family goes back to the 13th century: his ancestors had a very combative motto: "You can break us, but you won't bend us." It is this trait that was definitely inherited by arguably the most glorious representative of this clan.
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Photo: The town of Sremski Karlovci, Serbia which served as his headquarters and was at the time of his death the location of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, together with the Russian Ministry of Culture erected a monument in his honour.
Baron Pyotr Wrangel Was Born 135 Years Ago Topic: Wrangel, Pyotr
Baron Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel
Exactly 135 years ago, on August 27, 1878, the Russian military statesmen and one of the leaders of the White Movement, Pyotr Wrangel, was born. He was born in the Kovno Governorate in the Russian Empire (near present-day Zarasai, Lithuania). The Wrangel family was of the local Baltic German nobility.
Since the middle of the 13th century the Wrangel family produced 7 field marshals, more than 30 generals and 7 admirals who served Russia and European states. The polar explorer Ferdinand Wrangel had an island in the Arctic Ocean named after him. The father of Pyotr Wrangel – Nikolai Wrangel – was a well-known art historian and collector.
He was an officer in the Russian Imperial Army, a participant of the Russo-Japanese War and hero of World War I, Pyotr Wrangel was considered one of the most promising military leaders of Russia. His military skills were also seen during the Civil War and the successes of the White Army in 1918-1919 were due in large part to Wrangel’s mounted troops.
Having taken charge of the Volunteers’ Army, Wrangel helped hold off the advance of Red Army forces on the Crimea and organize the evacuation of remaining White supporters. In emigration he established the Russian All-Military Union, an organization established to fight for the preservation and unity of all White forces living abroad. He settled in Brussels from September 1927 and worked as a mining engineer. Wrangel's memoirs were published in the magazine White Cause in Berlin in 1928.
Wrangel died suddenly of Tuberculosis in 1928, and Wrangel's family believed that he had been poisoned by his butler’s brother, who lived in the Wrangel household in Brussels briefly and who was allegedly a Soviet agent. Wrangel's funeral and burial took place in Brussels, but he was reinterred on October 6, 1929 in the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox church in Belgrade, Serbia according to his final wishes.