First Combat Organization of the Bolsheviks 1905-1907

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The First Fighting Organization of the Bolsheviks
Articles, memoirs and documents, 1934

"The First Fighting Organization of the Bolsheviks" in  Russian PDF format

The compiler used: 1) Personal recollections of participants in combat organizations. 2) Documents of the Historical Central Leningrad Archive (formerly the Police Department and the St. Petersburg Military District Court). This last material, restoring the exact chronological dates of the events, the surnames, first names and some biographical data of the participants, often distorts the very facts, sheds light on them incorrectly, attributes the deeds to the wrong persons who committed them, is silent about the provocation that caused great harm to revolutionary deeds, etc. n. Unfortunately, not all the files necessary for this work were found in the archives. 3) Documents from the archive of the Eastpart of the Central Committee, some documents from the archive of the Institute. V. I. Lenin. 4) Pre-revolutionary party literature, the collected works of V. I. Lenin, post-revolutionary literature, as well as reports from bourgeois newspapers of the pre-revolutionary period.
Excerpts from the book:

... By the beginning of the autumn of 1905, the Battle Group acquires a certain amount of weapons, which it receives from the John Grafton passage blown up off the coast of Finland. Although the organization of this very sensational enterprise, the Social-Democrats. the Bolshevik party did not take part, the less they managed to get some of the weapons fishermen fished out of the water and send them to Russia. By the same time, BK in his “report” to Lenin reported: “The group is quite organized and has a large number of sources for the purchase of weapons, and is constantly looking for new sources. The main obstacle to the development of activities (its) armaments is the lack of money.

... But as before, explosives are being intensively mined in St. Petersburg itself, and also brought from abroad, even a cannon is mined from the guards crew. Energy and ingenuity are directed towards simplifying the design of bombs, creating a type that would combine the security of storage, ease of handling and would be available for mass production without requiring any complex devices and tools.

... New items that were part of the everyday use of military equipment required the development of new methods of conspiracy. For example, special belts were invented to carry dynamite; for carrying revolvers and primers with explosive mercury, a kind of vest was put on; to carry uncomfortable rifles, a peculiar technique was developed: separating the stock from the trunks, they hung them by the front sight with a rope around the neck, and some female students reached such virtuosity that they could put on 8 rifles at once.

... By chance, at the beginning of 1907, I happened to be present at the inspection of discharged shells of various systems: Japanese, German and others. From all their mechanisms were taken out, which were subjected to a thorough analysis. What attracted everyone's attention was a small, very neatly made brown cardboard box with a large red seal: "Russian Social Democratic Labor Party", inside a circle: "Bomb Factory. Baku". Inside the box was a cast-iron shell and our fuse, very precisely made, with carefully polished copper parts.

A prominent specialist in explosives, who was present during the inspection, very carefully examined everything, the parts, especially the drummer, and thoughtfully said: “how much the government would give for the invention of such a simple and certainly correct operating device!”

... L. B. Krasin was not only practically the leader of the preparations for an armed uprising, but when discussing the principled formulation of this issue, Leonid Borisovich spoke on behalf of the party. Thus, in his speeches, at the Unifying Road, L. Krasin strongly criticizes the Menshevik position of fear and disbelief in (an armed uprising. He opposes the proposed Menshevik resolution, argues with Plekhanov on this issue, pointing out that "to prepare victory alone" by intensifying agitation,” without simultaneously creating an organization for the military-technical preparation of an uprising, means leading the proletariat to the slaughter.”

... Receiving from Russian factories was organized on a fairly large scale. Three-line rifles were received from the gun factories of Izhevsk, Tula and Sestroretsk. The organization of receiving them from the Sestroretsk plant was entrusted to "Ilya" - I. I. Berezin. A curious way of storage was invented by the workers of the plant. They hollowed out logs in the walls of their houses and put rifles into the recesses formed. From Kyiv, with the assistance of officer Bankovsky, revolvers were obtained - revolvers. Rifle cartridges were supplied by a group of workers from the Okhtensky plant (Sasha Okhtensky, Parshenkov, and others). In the same way, pyroxylin, smokeless powder, cartridge cases, etc. came to us from different factories.

... In the sighting workshop of the plant there was a manual machine for loading cartridges, so we decided to build such a machine. His draftsman made a drawing of the factory machine3). I gave the drawing to make a casting of the frame, and I undertook to prepare the small parts myself. This work took two weeks. During this time, I organized the delivery of gunpowder, pistons and bullets from the cartridge factory at Bolshaya Okhta, and cartridges from the shell factory. We took advantage of the fact that we only searched the workers when they left the factory, but they didn’t search the clerks, I rolled up about 50 rounds of cartridges into packages that looked like wrapped books - these were handed over to the clerks, and they carried them out of the factory.

... Some artillery officer, who was sometimes in uniform, sometimes in civilian clothes, read to us about explosives, making bombs, using weapons, building barricades; about how to derail a train, about conspiracy, etc. We listened with great interest, asking questions, he read to us from Victor Hugo about the barricades. Once he brought us phosphorus, diluted, it seems, in alcohol, dipped a piece of paper in it, and when it dried up, it caught fire; we all wanted to have this composition. In general, they listened to this officer with great attention, because they knew that he was an expert in this matter.

... On January 3, Mikhail Parshenkov, a militant nicknamed "Teacher" and, it seems, a militant Vasya, nicknamed "Hawk", from the Obukhov plant put up an armed rebuff on Vasilyevsky Island. During the arrest, 5 people were killed. "Uchitel" was wounded in the stomach, ran into the latrine and fired back as much as possible, and then Parshenkov himself shot himself and "Hawk" safely escaped and crossed over to the Urals.

Parshenkov Mikhail - from the peasants, it seems, Vyatka province., Worker of the cartridge factory, cartridge case department, Social-Democrat. In the Urals, he joined the partisan Lb ^ vu and completely left the party, was called "Demon". At the end of 1907 he was arrested and tried by a court-martial. On the whole, he was sentenced to hanging, and, it seems, in December 1907 he was hanged.

"Vanya" - his real name is unknown - from the peasantry, was a worker of a cartridge factory, Socialist-Democratic / Bolshevik, was a member of a combat squad in St. Petersburg 1905/1906 Hiding from police persecution, he left for the Urals, in 1907 he was ambushed soldier and was killed among six militants of the Social Democrats.

... The party had to, first of all, select cadres of workers who would be able not only to wield weapons, but also to get them; it was necessary to acquaint these cadres with the technique of street fighting, it was necessary to learn not only how to handle, but also how to make explosives, shells and bombs. It was necessary to carry out the work in such a way that the comrade militants who had settled down in all our Party organizations could give the workers practical combat training and teach them to orient themselves at the right moment.

... Two days later we went deep into the Golosevsky forest, where we tested our projectile in one of the small ravines. He weighed about 8-9 pounds, was thrown from an elevated place into a ravine, densely overgrown with large trees, at a distance of twenty-five steps from those present. Hit a tree. The force of the explosion was so great that we were all knocked down. About two or three sazhens along the radius, the trees were torn apart, some of them were knocked down; in this circle there was not only a tree left, but not a single whole bush.

Thus ended our first experiment, which gave good results, and with some pride we could consider ourselves specialists in the new party business.

... During this very period, the two turnouts that we have were captured by the Mensheviks. We learned this later, and for several days they fooled us, led us by the nose, saying that the Central Committee was against it, that our undertakings should be abandoned, that there was no need for any preparations for an uprising, that freedom had in fact already been won, that the constitution was already on the nose and that there was no the need to call and prepare the workers for an uprising, that our work can provoke the workers to take action and give the autocracy a trump card to stage a second bloody massacre, etc. in this spirit.

Only a few days later it was possible, by chance, apparently on the courses of Lesgaft, to meet Innokenty, who had returned from the south, and he explained that the Mensheviks had seized these halls. What happened next became clear to us.

... The composition of the combat squad of the Nevsky Zastava region in 1905-1906:

Shklyaev A.S., "Lazar", instructor of the combat squad. (He was a member of the All-Union Association of Old Bolsheviks, died in August 1933).
Kaufman Galya, secretary of the subdistrict
Alyosha Rusetsky is a worker.
V. Sukhleev is a worker. He was released in 1917 from a hard labor prison in Vladimir, died in 1919 from tuberculosis.
Panfilov Vasya, "Hawk", was killed in the Urals in the detachment of Lbov.
Shelkovnikov V. - worker.
Polyakov N. - worker, currently in charge of the FZU at the plant. Lenin in Leningrad.
Nemchinov, a worker, emigrated to America at the end of 1906.
Grebnev N. - worker.
Zucker is a worker.
Ostreiko Ludwig is a worker.
Kalashnikov Vasya - worker, member of the Association of Political Prisoners.
Gordeev N. - worker.
Yakovlev Andrey - worker, died in Siberia.
Panzerny Vanya - worker, shot by Czechoslovaks.
Uspensky G. - worker. ,
Alexandrov Ivan, "Sivka-Burka", - worker, died in the "Crosses" in 1908.
Shulman Pavlusha - worker, died in "Crosses".
Grzhibovskaya Olga Antonovna — died in St. Petersburg in a prison on remand in 1908.
Zarubkin A. - worker, member of the VOSB.
Anton Velichko is a worker.
Vanya "Okhtensky" - killed by guards in the Urals in 1907.
Andrey Nikolaev, "Son", - worker, member of the CPSU (b).
Mitrofanov M. - worker of the plant. Lenin, member of the CPSU (b).
Parshenkov Illarion - a worker, in 1908 he was arrested and executed.
Smirnov is a worker.
Grigoriev N. - worker.
Danilov M.G. is a member of the VOSB, works in Leningrad.
Stalfot - worker, executed in 1906 for possession of bombs in St. Petersburg.
"Sofya Sergeevna".
Mikhailov is a worker.
... Here, for example, a young worker, Konstantin Ivanov, says: “The next day, upon arrival at school, “Alexander” ((Chessky) announced to us that there was nothing to lose, we need to study, and that we should be prepared to lead others during armed insurrection, and that therefore we need to be able to handle weapons well, make bombs and prepare explosives Thanks to this knowledge, we can serve the people by being able, if necessary, to destroy those persons who hinder the revolution during an armed uprising, to successfully fight against the troops He, "Alexander," also explained to us that it is not the anarchists who engage in the killing of individuals during an armed uprising, but that a militant organization is intended exclusively for the actions of an armed uprising.

 On the morality and morality of the royal guards. The organization of the murders of tsarist dignitaries and even tsarist relatives by the Okhrana in order to introduce their spies into the ranks of the revolutionaries. In these murders, completely uninvolved people also died.

 About conspiracy. During the arrest of one of the leaders of the BC Sagredo, an encrypted notebook with addresses fell into the hands of the Okhrana, which helped them to detect the appearances. And on the other hand, as a result of the murder by the Black Hundreds of Grosjean, who led the communications of the PC and MK and the supply of weapons to the MK, all warehouses, turnouts, etc. disappeared due to conspiracy. Distracting, in addition to such well-known revolutionaries as Bauman, the then Nazis - the Black Hundreds (fascists, the right sector, etc.) killed many revolutionaries, which EVERYONE (including leftist historians) has now safely forgotten. It was not I who equated the Black Hundreds with the Nazis, this was first done by Lenin in a letter of 1922. The descendants of those killed by tsarism do not remember either babies, or children, or women, or the elderly. Only Nicky and his family are remembered. If I had the highest power, I would also punish the ungrateful people who forgot the true heroes, who gave their lives for his freedom, and glorifies his former oppressors and murderers. Glorifying the revolutionaries - we had a great Soviet Union. As soon as they forgot the revolutionaries and began to glorify their killers, we lost the power, and we continue to lose more and more and fall deeper and deeper. Everyone who glorifies the Romanovs and Kolchaks is only worthy of slavery.



S. Pozner — Activity of the first Combat Organization of the Bolsheviks in 1905 — 1907


S. Gusev—Negotiations with officers of the guards in 1905

N. Burenin - Organization of the "Combat Technical Group" 1901-1904

S. Pozner — Preparations for an armed uprising in St. Petersburg

"Alpha" L. Peskov - Work in the "chemical group" at the Central Committee of 1905-1907.

S. Pozner - L. B. Krasin "Nikitich" head of the Combat Troupe under the Central Committee

Ignatiev - Memoirs of the organizer
Smirnov – Work in Finland

Stomonyakov - Foreign organization for the delivery of weapons to Russia in 1905

Shapovalov - Work on the purchase of weapons

Litvinov – Transportation of weapons to Russia

Luther - Supplement to the memoirs of M. M. Litvinov

Sulimova ("Magda") Work in the "Combat Technical Group" 1905-1906.

Participation of Sestroretsk workers in the procurement of weapons in 1905-1906.


Posner — Cartridge workshop and armed resistance 1905 - 1908.

Sergey Sulimov ("Peter") Bomb Workshop

I. Mikhailov - Preparation for armed struggle


E. Siewart - A safe house at the Academy of Arts in 1903-1905.

V. Landsberg — Everyday secret work in 1905

N. Chetverikov ("Mikhail Lvovich"). - Arms depots

L. X. Gobi ("Irina") - My manager of bomb warehouses

Bogomolov ("Chort") - The connection of the military-technical group with the Moscow organization
Posner - From the encrypted notebook of N. P. Sagredo

S. Einerling - Arrest of "Andrei Andreyevich" (Sagredo)

Salnyn ("Grishka") - The activities of the Latvian militant in St. Petersburg

Bulle ("Fritz") -From the Baltic States to work in the PBO

S. Pozner - Fighting squads and the fight against the black hundred

S. Pozner—Attack of the Combat Brigade on the Tver Tea Room

A. Zaburkin ("Shuranka") - How did the first combat squad behind the Nevsky Zastava appear in 1905

S. Pozner - From the history of military equipment. School in Kuokkola


G. Tomashevsky — Liquidation of weapons depots in 1908


S. Posner - Versions about the steamer "John Grafton"

Sources that served the study of the issue of the steamer "John Grafton"


Telegram to the police department from Helsingfors dated August 28, 1905 about the explosion of the steamer "John Grafton"

Report on the circumstances preceding the explosion on the steamer "John Grafton" and on the discovery of weapons on the island of Callscher

From the correspondence regarding the purchase of weapons brought on the John Grafton

Practical training program in the PBO laboratory on the theory of explosives and explosive metal projectiles

Indictment in the case of the laboratory school in Kuokkola (Finland)