Russian Civil War

Battle of Peregonovka
Makhnovist commanders discuss plans to defeat the Army of Wrangel, in Starobilsk ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1919 Sep 26

Battle of Peregonovka

Kherson, Kherson Oblast, Ukrai

The Battle of Peregonovka was a September 1919 military conflict in which the Revolutionary Insurgent Army of Ukraine defeated the Volunteer Army. After retreating west across Ukraine for four months and 600 kilometers, the Insurgent Army turned east and surprised the Volunteer Army. The Insurgent Army reclaimed its capital of Huliaipole within ten days.


The White defeat at Peregonovka marked the turning point for the entire civil war, with a number of White officers remarking in that moment: "It's over." In the wake of the battle, the Insurgent Army split up in order to capitalize on their victory and capture as much territory as possible. In just over a week, the insurgents had occupied a vast territory in southern and eastern Ukraine, including the major cities of Kryvyi Rih, Yelysavethrad, Nikopol, Melitopol, Oleksandrivsk, Berdiansk, Mariupol and the insurgent capital of Huliaipole.


By 20 October, the insurgents had occupied the southern stronghold of Katerynoslav, taken full control of the regional rail network and blocked the Allied ports on the southern coast. As the Whites had now been cut off from their supply lines, the advance on Moscow was halted only 200 kilometers outside of the Russian capital, with the Cossack forces of Konstantin Mamontov and Andrei Shkuro being diverted back towards Ukraine. Mamontov's 25,000-strong detachment quickly forced the insurgents to fall back from the sea of Azov, relinquishing control of the port cities of Berdiansk and Mariupol. Nevertheless, the insurgents maintained control of the Dnieper and continued on to capture the cities of Pavlohrad, Synelnykove and Chaplyne.


In the historiography of the Russian Civil War, the Insurgent victory at Peregonovka has been attributed to the decisive defeat of Anton Denikin's forces and more broadly to the outcome of the war itself.

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