Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mongolia | Töv Aimag | Bürkhiin Gol | White Russian Battle

I have traveled up the Bürkhiin Gol, which flows into the Kherlen River near Möngönmort in Töv Aimag, several times while on my way to Khagiin Khar Nuur, a well known resting place in the Khentii Mountains; Asralt Khairkhan Uul, the highest mountain in the Khentii Range; Yestiin Rashaan, a hot springs complex frequented by Zanabazar, the First Bogd Gegeen of Mongolia; the ruins of the monastery founded by Zanabazar, Saridgiin Khiid, and other places in the Khentii Mountains.
Valley of the Bürkhiin Gol
Near where the Bürkhin Gol emerges from the mountains out into the valley of the Kherlen Gol I had often taken note of a monument which seemed to indicate that the great revolutionary Sükhebaatar fought a battle here again Baron Ungern-Sternberg’s White Russian army back in 1921. 
Monument on the Bürkhiin Gol 
I was never, however, able to find out any details about this battle. Now comes word from Dr. S. L. Kuzmin in Moscow, who has already written at length about Ungern-Sternberg and is now preparing another book about the notorious Bloody Baron, that the battle took place here on August 21 or 22 of 1921. According to Dr. Kuzmin, after the Baron had been captured by the Bolsheviks two brigades of his former army fled eastward toward Manchuria. They fought a short and inconclusive battle here with Red partisans and finally managed to break out and continue on eastward.  Apparently they were shown a route through the mountains by a lama who was following the secret orders issued by 8th Bogd Gegeen which instructed his followers to help Ungern-Sternberg’s men retreat safely to Manchuria. Expect more details for Dr. Kuzmin’s upcoming book. 

2 comments:

  1. Is this the same Baron who left the field of skulls & bones?

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  2. Yes, this was the same Bloody Baron, head of the League of Militant Buddhists and general all-around psychopath. By the way, one of his riding boots is in the Mongolian National History Museum. He appears to have worn a size 10.

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