THE ODD MAN IN
It must have been particularly galling to Voroshilov that the man who relieved him as commander of the Tenth Army, Aleksandr Il'ich Egorov, was in many respects the epitome of the military specialist. He had been a lieutenant colonel in the old army, where he had served with distinction from the time of his commissioning at the Kazan Infantry School in April 1905. Be arrived at Tsaritsyn accompanied, according to Budenny, by eighty former officers. Budenny's subordinates predicted future betrayals from this entourage of military specialists ( Budenny 1958, 112).
Egorov took command of the Tenth Army on 26 December 1918. Tsaritsyn was still enclosed in a semicircle with a radius of some twenty kilometers and the Volga at its rear. Conditions within the Tenth Army were "extraordinarily difficult." In addition, the army command element required reorganization, and the overall condition of the troops and the logistical support services was poor. Egorov had to search out the ways and means to hold on to what he called "the Red Verdun" ( Kopylov 1962, 203).
Egorov did not have time to complete his reorganization before the Whites struck on 1 January 1919. By the middle of January they had tightened their semicircle around the city, and on 12 January they siezed Dubovka, on the Volga. When Egorov shifted Dumenko's provisional cavalry division to the north, the Whites seized Sarenta on 16 January. But this was to be their last success. The provisional cavalry division (led by Budenny after Dumenko became ill) drove
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Publication information: Book title: Stalin's Lieutenants:A Study of Command under Duress. Contributors: William J. Spahr - Author. Publisher: Presidio Press. Place of publication: Novato, CA. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 41.
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