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Forum » Russian Civil war / Гражданская война в России » Thread: Аrmy of Bukhara emirate 1900-1920 -- Page 8  Jump To: 

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 Аrmy of Bukhara emirate 1900-1920
Sent: 10-06-2013 03:39
Отрывок из книги:

Ian Heath, “Armies of the Nineteenth Century: Asia” Vols 1 (Central Asia) and 2 (China), Foundry Books , 1998.

Авторам издательства отправлено письмо с просьбой на публикацию этого куска на форуме. В случае разрешения будет добавлен перевод этой главы на русский.


As well as Bokhara, the kingdom which the Shaybanid Uzbeks had established here in the 16th century had originally included Balkh, Badakhshan, Tashkent, Khokand, and Khiva. However, it had gradually diminished in size and importance in the course of the 17th—18th centuries, notably by the establishment of independent khanates at Tashkent, Khokand, and Khiva, and the loss of its Transoxine possessions, which became Afghan Turkestan. Only its traditional heartland lying between the Amu-Darya (Oxus) and Syr-Darya (Jaxartes) rivers remained intact. Nevertheless, until the second half of the 19th century it also continued to claim, though rarely managed to enforce, overlordship of several of the petty khanates of Afghan Turkestan. (Though they form part of Central Asia, both Afghanistan aad Afghan Turkestan will be found covered in the chapter on the North-West Frontier in volume 5.)

By the 1840s its population probably stood at about 2-2.5 million, Georges de Meyendorff in 1820 estimating the latter figure to be made up of 1.5 million Uzbeks, 650,000 Tajiks, 1 200,000 Turcomans, 40,000 Persians (mostly slaves), 50,000 Arabs, 2 20,000 Kalmuks, and about the same number of Kazakhs and Karakalpaks. The ruling Mangit or 'Flat-nose' dynasty were Kipchaks (a sub-division of the Kazakhs), and had risen to power in 1784 when their chief, the vizier Ma'sum Shah Murad, had set aside the last of the old Janid dynasty (which had succeeded the Shaybanids) and seized the throne for himself. He adopted the title of Amir rather than Khan, since, unlike his Janid predecessors, he was not descended from Genghiz Khan. His kingdom nevertheless continued to be styled a khanate.

Amir Ma'sum was succeeded by his son Seid (d.1826), who, after a civil war which saw the death of one son and the expulsion of another, was eventually succeeded by a third, Nasr-Ullah Bahadur Khan (1826-60), during whose reign there occurred a war with Khokand. This was provoked by the erection in 1839 of the Khokandian fortress of Pishagar, 'so close to the lands ... of Bokhara that the Amir declared it was built on his ground, and insisted on having it pulled down.' War ensued when the Amir's demands were ignored. Madali Khan of Khokand — not the most courageous of men — abandoned his army after a minor skirmish, and, understandably demoralised, it consequently disbanded, leaving Nasr-Ullah's troops to effect the surrender of Pishagar in August 1840 following a prolonged bombardment. The war sputtered on until autumn 1841, when Khokand itself fell to the Amir. Though Madali was executed in April 1842, a Bokharan Governor having been installed in his place, Khokand regained its independence the following year.

Nasr-Ullah was succeeded by Muzaffar-ed-din (1860-85), who in spring 1865, taking advantage of the opportunity presented by the Russian invasion of Khokand to advance his own frontiers, provided military assistance to Khokand 'with the real object,' as it was observed at the time, 'of getting possession of the beleaguered Khanate for himself.' This move inevitably signalled the end of the generally amicable relations which Bokhara had enjoyed with Russia throughout the first half of the century. Bokharan troops having occupied Khodjend and numerous key frontier fortresses, the Russians under General Chemiaev set out to attack one of these — Djizzak (the 'lawful boundary' between Bokhara and Khokand) — in January 1866. However, Cherniaev had set about his task with a totally inadequate force comprising just 14 companies of infantry, 600 Cossacks and 16 guns, and his attempts at storming the fort were beaten off. In mid-February lack of sufficient manpower and a shortage of provisions eventually resulted in his ignominious withdrawal, harried all the way by clouds of Bokharan cavalry. This humiliation temporarily ended Cherniaev's vainglorious career in Central Asia, and, charged with 'wilfulness, disobedience, and petty tyranny', he was replaced by General D.I. Romanovski. Muzaffar-ed-din, meanwhile, had secured his own position as overlord of Khokand by settling one of the khanate's interminable civil wars in favour of Khudayar Khan, in exchange for which he got to keep all the Khokandian territory he had seized.

The failure of Cherniaev's operation naturally emboldened the Bokharans, who now assumed the offensive. A contemporary report observed that 'from this time collisions were frequent on the right bank of the river [the Syr-Darya] between the Russian and Uzbek outposts', until finally, after his demands that the Russians should evacuate Tashkent had been ignored, Muzaffar marched against them with 40,000 men and 21 guns.

General Romanovski, learning of the Bokharan advance on 18 May, set out from Chinaz the following day to intercept them on the plain of Irdjar. Marching along the left bank of the Syr-Darya, his forces comprised 14 companies of infantry, five sotnias of /11/

Amir Muzaffar-ed-din (1860-85) in a uniform typical of those worn by Central Asian officers after about the middle of the 19th century, comprising a khalat with epaulettes, its front bestrewn with orders of merit in imitation of the dress of Russian officers.

Cossacks, 20 guns and eight rocket-stands, a total of about 3,600 men. A second Russian contingent, of 1,000 men under Colonel Kraefski, set out along the right bank of the Syr-Darya from Keruchi at the same time, 'the advance being so timed,' as Romanovski subsequently reported, 'that both the detachments might appear before the enemy simultaneously.' Romanovski reached Ravat village, about 45 miles from Tashkent, that evening, after being 'continually engaged in skirmishes with the enemy's cavalry.' Here the Russians learnt that the main Bokharan force, under Muzaffar, had established itself in a 2 1/2-mile wide entrenched position a few miles ahead, across the road to Samarkand.

As early as dawn on 20 May numerous small bodies of Bokharan cavalry, confident of their numerical superiority, had again begun to demonstrate in front of the Russian camp, opening the engagement with what were described as 'a succession of unimportant skirmishes, firmly convinced that they could make prisoners of the small Russian force opposed to them.' Consequently when the Russians resumed their march they did so 'with every readiness to enter into an engagement at any moment, and the columns therefore kept in sight of each other, the baggage trains not being allowed to fall behind.' Romanovski wrote that 'at 9 o'clock, when the army approached Lake Aik-Chaganak, the enemy was found assembled in great force, and here the first skirmish took place between the Cossacks and the enemy's cavalry ... When, however, the army at 12 o'clock were making preparations for a halt on the banks of Lake Yak-Kahan, masses of the enemy's cavalry began to press so heavily on the vanguard and baggage wagons that the artillery had to be brought into action'. The Russian guns were to remain in action continuously thereafter until the end of the battle.

The Bokharan cavalry, arriving on the scene in steadily increasing numbers, continued to harass the advancing Russians for the next five hours, attacking their front, flanks and rear 'with great impetuosity' and obliging the Cossacks and their supporting artillery to repeatedly halt in order to beat them off with rockets and cannon fire. The Russian baggage-train, protected by four companies of infantry and two guns, was particularly hard-pressed, being subjected to such heavy and frequent attack that the entire army was often slowed nearly to a standstill. It took until 5:00 p.m. for Romanovski to come within range of Muzaffar's entrenched artillery, which opened up with a heavy barrage at a distance of about a mile. At the same time large bodies of Bokharan horse swept across the Russians' front and round their right flank, leaving only the left flank, which was protected by the river, free from attack. So effective was this combined action by the Bokharan cavalry and artillery that the Russian advance was brought to an abrupt halt, Romanovski's official report stating that 'our troops had to hold out under this cannonade for about an hour before our artillery and firearms and several gallant cavalry attacks cooled the ardour of the Bokharan cavalry which pressed heavily on our flanks and rear.'

Bokharan confidence began to waver at about 6:00 p.m., on perceiving which Romanovski ordered a general advance against the Amir's entrenchments, LieutenantColonel von Pistolkers making 'a decided attack with the right flank' — comprising the Cossacks, the rocket battery, and six guns, supported by three companies of riflemen and a further half-battery of artillery — while the bulk of the infantry launched a frontal assault under the command of Captain Abramof. The first line of Bokharan entrenchments was overrun, the artillerymen being killed at their guns, and the six field-pieces which had accompanied Pistolkers' division were manhandled into position and directed against the next line of Bokharans. The Cossacks had meanwhile charged the Bokharan cavalry, amongst whom a devastating combination of rockets and grape had produced 'great confusion' and enormous casualties. Heavy fighting nevertheless continued amidst the Bokharan entrenchments for a further two hours, until the arrival of the Keruchi column on the opposite side of the river, firing into the Bokharans' left rear as they approached, decided the issue,and the Bokharan army fled in utter rout, abandoning its entire baggage. Muzaffar escaped to Djizzak accompanied by just 2,000 cavalry, 1,000 sarbaz infantry,and two guns, the rest of his army scattering to the four winds.

Bokharan losses totalled more than 1,000, these probably being mostly cavalrymen and artillerymen, though at least one body of foot was overtaken and destroyed in the Russian pursuit. Russians losses, by contrast, are said to have comprised just one man killed and less than 50 wounded (though it should be noted here, and borne in mind when reading the rest of this /12/ chapter, that there are grounds for doubting the veracity of many Russian casualty reports issued during the conquest of Central Asia). Six Bokharan guns were captured in the storming of the entrenchments, and another four were taken during the pursuit.

After a sufficiently long delay to suggest that his losses were indeed probably heavier than contemporary reports claimed, Romanovski moved on to take the Bokharan held fortress of Nau on 26 May (the garrison fleeing as the Russians approached), and launched an attack on Khodjend on 1 June. This Khokandian city, defended by its citizen militia (the Bokharan occupation force having been withdrawn to participate in the fateful battle at Irdjar), fell to assault on 6 June following a house-to-house fight through the streets in which an estimated 2,500 of the defenders were killed. Russian official sources give their own losses as five (or 11) dead and 122 wounded, but a native eye-witness is said 'to have counted 370-odd wounded in the Russian hospital' after the battle, and 'other native reporters' mention 60-90 dead (one says 400 'dead', possibly meaning dead and wounded).

A pause in the hostilities now ensued, but Bokhara's disinclination to pay the exorbitant reparations Russia demanded led to their resumption early in October, when the Russians surrounded Ura-Tiube, taking it by storm on the 14th after an eight-day bombardment. Officially Russian losses were 17 killed and 210 wounded, but an independent report put their dead alone at over 200. Bokharan casualties, however, were in excess of 2,000. The small fort of Zaamin fell 'without a shot' on 18 October, and Djizzak — its garrison reinforced to a strength of perhaps 10,000 men and 53 guns — succumbed on the 30th at the end of another eight-day siege, a Bokharan relief column of cavalry, 2,000 sarbazes, and 18 guns, which arrived as the fort fell, being repulsed by Russian gunfire. Romanovski's report put total Bokharan losses at not less than 6,000 dead and 2,000 captured, and his own at an improbable six dead and 92 wounded; other sources, however, give 200 Russian dead, one even putting Russian and Bokharan losses at 1,000 and 2,000 respectively.

With the Russian capture of Yangi-Kurgan on 25 May 1867 the last of Muzaffar-ed-din's Khokandian conquests of 1865 passed into Russian hands, a counter­attack here and at Djizzak the following month by reportedly 45,000 Bokharans being driven off with 'great slaughter' by a Russian detachment of only about 1,000 men. Another attack in July met with a similar lack of success, though a simultaneous raid in the north against Russia's 'Fort No. Г (Kazalinsk, built in 1853) is said to have resulted in considerable Russian losses.

Realising by now that Russia's military might was far greater than he had ever supposed, Muzaffar spent the next few months desperately trying to put together a powerful anti-Russian coalition involving Khiva, Khokand, Kashgaria, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Great Britain.3 When, in March 1868, it became apparent that these plans had come to naught he nevertheless declared a Holy War against Russia, hoping that he might rally the forces of Islam to his support by means of a jihad where diplomatic persuasion had singularly failed. The Russians, now under General K.R von Kaufmann, (4) responded by marching on Samarkand in May with about 8,000 men, including 21 1/2 companies of infantry, 450 Cossacks, 16 guns, and a rocket half-battery.

On 13 May von Kaufmann found his advance blocked by a Bokharan force variously described as anywhere between 8,000 and 40,000 men, entrenched on the opposite bank of the River Zarafshan under the command of the Amir's son Abd al-Malik and an Afghan, Sekunder Khan. Von Kaufmann issued an ultimatum to the Bokharans to evacuate their positions by 3:15 a.m., and then attacked when they failed to do so. The Russians waded breast-deep through the river, the plan being for the left wing to then attack the opposite heights 'that were strongly occupied by the enemy.' Both flanks came under heavy fire during the crossing, the left flank having to clear several villages of the enemy before it could even reach the river (the right flank having already been cleared the previous evening). However, once across the Russians successfully negotiated a stretch of marshy ground traversed by ditches and bands of scrubby brush and stormed the Bokharan right flank 'which immediately took to flight in the wildest confusion, and so rapidly that it was impossible to reach the fugitives again.' All 21 of the Bokharan guns present were captured. The most realistic figures for Bokharan losses claim 300-400 were killed and 200 wounded, while Russian casualties, according to the official report, amounted to just two dead and 28 wounded (other sources claim 10,000 Bokharan dead and up to 2,000 Russian casualties). Samarkand, closing its gates to the defeated army, surrendered to the Russians on their arrival the following day.

Leaving a garrison of just 685 men and the captured Bokharan guns in Samarkand under the command of Major von Stempel, von Kaufmann set out next day with two columns, one heading north to Tchilek and the other south-west to Urgut and Katta-Kurgan. Tchilek 'surrendered itself readily', but on 14 June the main force under von Kaufmann — some 18 infantry companies, six sotnias of Cossacks, and four guns, perhaps 4,500 men in all — found its way obstructed along the Zarafshan heights near Zerabulak by a Bokharan force estimated at 6,000 foot, 15,000 horse, and 15 light guns. In the face of a Russian bayonet charge delivered 'in the most dashing manner', the Bokharans abandoned their camp and guns and fled, suffering perhaps 1,000 casualties (L.T. Kostenko says 'upwards of 4,000'). The Russians are said to have had just 37 or 38 men wounded. Katta-Kurgan subsequently capitulated without a shot being fired.

Back in Samarkand, meanwhile, von Stempel's small garrison had found itself under siege almost as soon as von Kaufmann's expedition had marched out of sight, 15,000 townspeople being joined in their attack on the Russian positions by 15,000 Kazakhs, and 25,000 militia from Shahr-i-Sabz and Kitab under Jura Век. (5) Despite the overwhelming strength of the Bokharans opposed to them, the Russians — most of whom were 'on the sick list' — nevertheless managed to hold out for a week until relieved by von Kaufmann on 18 June, by which time the defenders had lost 49 dead and 172 wounded.

The Battle of Zerabulak ended the khanate's existence as an independent sovereign state, and peace terms were agreed on 30 June by which Samarkand, Katta-Kurgan, Khodjend, Ura-Tiube, and Djizzak were /13/ ceded to Russia (which formally annexed them in 1872). Though this and a further treaty of 1873 rendered Bokhara a Russian protectorate, shorn of a considerable swathe of its territory, it nevertheless retained a degree of autonomy, being left with its own army and responsibility for its internal affairs. However, Bokhara's relationship to Russia remained one of fear rather than affection for the rest of the century, and certainly in the first few years following Muzaffar-ed-din's submission numerous anti-Russian plots seethed beneath the apparent calm of the Bokharan court. In 1870, for instance, it was secretly agreed with Sher Ali Khan of Afghanistan that the Amir would 'dismiss the Russian ambassadors on condition of the support of 10,000 Afghan troops in the event of a war', a compact which 'fell to the ground only through the timidity of the Amir himself.' It was even rumoured the same year that a coalition had been agreed between Muzaffar and Yakub Beg of Kashgar, the intention being that their united forces — 29,000 men are mentioned — along with those of Khokand and Khiva, should drive the Russians back to their own frontier. In 1872 the Amir agreed to admit Afghan troops into Kulab and Karshi (the key to southern Bokhara), in order to strengthen himself against an expected Russian attack, and some minor affrays certainly appear to have taken place involving Afghan and Russian troops. More usually, however, Bokhara and Afghanistan — traditional enemies that they were — continued to rattle their sabres at each other rather than at the Russians, though there were no major confrontations between them once Afghanistan perceived that the Russian Empire stood squarely behind the Amir. They seem to have teetered perilously close to war for the last time in 1883.

Despite his occasional plots and machinations Muzaffar-ed-din retained his throne until his death in 1885, when he was succeeded by his fourth son, Seid Abd al-Ahad (1885-1910), his eldest son Abd al-Malik Khan being passed over in consequence of having rebelled against Muzaffar in 1868 in protest at his father's surrender to the Russians. (6)


The majority of Bokharan soldiers during the earlier part of this period were provided by a sort of irregular cavalry militia, the Nawkar, the paid elements of which constituted the nearest thing there was to a permanent army prior to the 1840s. Those liable for such service were recorded in official registers which described each man and his horse. These were kept by the Amir for Bokhara itself and by the provincial Begs, or Governors, for their respective provinces. Raising the militia levy was the responsibility of each village's elder or aksakal ('whitebeard'), to whom every man of military age — generally considered to be 15-60 — had to contribute a sum of money or a quantity of grain ('proportioned to the number of his family'). This was used to finance and provision the requisite number of men, who were raised from amongst 'a set of military people' accustomed to service in the field, usually individuals in the aksakal's own employ. Nicolai de Khanikoff, writing c.1840, tells us that when troops needed to be mustered in preparation for a campaign, the local Begs received instructions 'to proclaim in the bazaars of the towns the intention of the Amir to undertake a war; in consequence of which, all such as are inscribed in the military rolls assemble at a fixed time, and at a given place.' He also says that it was the Begs' responsibility 'to see the men equipped and supplied with horses. A time is fixed twice a year for such as are in military service, and who have lost their weapons or their horses, to acquaint their chief of their loss, and wait for his decision. In like manner, if any of them die, their relations are obliged to give notice of their death to the constituted authorities, in order that the deceased may be erased from the registers, while at the same time their places are filled up by other candidates.' Such registers as Khanikoff saw, however, he found 'very defective'.

Effectively this system provided for the existence of two distinct categories of troops, consisting of those raised in the immediate vicinity of Bokhara, provided by the Amir's direct feudatories and their retinues, and paid by him on a regular basis from the public treasury; and the contingents furnished by the provincial Begs, obliged to perform unpaid military service whenever called upon as the price of the lands they held. The latter, being raised on a local basis amongst tribes and regions often still acutely aware of individual ethnic identity, generally considered that they owed their allegiance to the local Governor or aksakal rather than to the State, and often acted accordingly. The Begs were free to utilise these troops as they saw fit.

About half of those maintained on the Amir's permanent payroll were to be found in and around the capital, these being for the most part commanded by Persian ex-soldiers who had come to Bokhara either as deserters or as slaves purchased from the Turcomans. In addition each Beg was expected to maintain a few hundred of his own horsemen on a similar permanent basis on the Amir's behalf, their numbers being trebled in wartime 'by pay, force, or persuasion'. During the period
1830-70 there appear to have been in all about 20-25,000 such regularly paid militia cavalry, referred to as sipahis or jigits, Alexander Burnes, who visited the khanate in 1832, providing a detailed breakdown of the individual ethnic contingents which went to make up this total. Most varied between 300 and 800 men, though a handful — such as the Ming Uzbeks and the Kalmuks — provided as many as 1,000 or even 2,000 men. About 12-13,000 of these irregulars were kept available in the vicinity of the capital, while the rest garrisoned frontier posts and towns, such as Ura-Tiube, Djizzak, Samarkand, Karakul and Karshi. At some time just before the Russian conquest a small number were organised on a more formal, semi-regular basis, forming 20-30 companies of, apparently, about 100 men each. One source, however, mentions just 500 such cavalrymen in total, while another, dating to 1860, mentions 1,200 (who are described as 'of no repute').

Pay principally took the form of grain — a mixture of wheat, barley, jonghera, and oil-seed husk — though officers customarily received grants of land. Various travellers writing of the period 1820-32 reported that each soldier, whether cavalryman or infantryman, received annually between six and 20 Bokharan maunds of grain (a maund being 256 lbs, or about 116 kilos). These same sources record that in addition most men received a small amount of money, nominally twice a year. In 1820 this consisted of 6 gold tillas a year (a tilla being estimated at the time as being equivalent to /14/ between 10s 6d and 13s, or roughly 50p-65p), plus an extra tilla to buy hay for their horses, though a year or so later James Fraser mentions that according to his informants some men received up to 20 tillas, the rate probably varying between individuals on the basis of rank, competence, and equipment. Arminius Vambery, who says that cash was paid out only in wartime, recorded in 1864 that each man received monthly 20 silver tangas (a tanga was worth at different times about 4d-7'/2d, approximately 1.5p-3p). He adds that half of all the booty taken on campaign was also divided amongst the soldiery.

As well as these paid contingents, most contemporary sources suggest that an additional 50-60,000 unpaid cavalrymen could be fielded. Khanikoff, however, reckoned c.1840 that 40,000 was the maximum that could realistically be mustered, adding that of these not more than a third were adequately armed, the rest 'consisting merely of the followers of the army, or such as are indifferently equipped'. Vambery similarly reckoned that claims of 40-60,000 men were exaggerated, and that a figure of 30,000 was nearer the mark. Mir Izzet Ullah, on the other hand, was told in 1813 — when, significantly, the khanate still held sway over a sizeable portion of Turkmenia — that there were as many as 80,000 horse 'on the rolls' ('general report' even had it that there might be more than 100,000). The additional 20,000 or more men indicated by Mir Izzet Ullah's figures quite probably represent the levy expected from the Turcomans at that date, whose unpaid services by Burnes' time (1832) could 'only be commanded by the individual who can enforce them', so that they were 'seldom or never called upon'. The 60-70,000 men the Bokharans mustered in April 1866 are nevertheless said to have included perhaps 10,000 Turcomans, though it is noteworthy that these were mostly men hired 'at a yearly expense of 4,000 tillas' from the Tekkes and Sariks, rather than militiamen raised from amongst the 50,000-odd Ersari who were tributary to the khanate.

The regular infantry

Although in 1832 Burnes recorded the existence of a force of 3,900 matchlock-armed infantry called khusa burdar (who 'come into the field on horseback, and then dismount'), these were no more than irregular — albeit paid — militiamen raised by the same mechanism as provided the country's irregular horse. They are said to have been composed entirely of Tajiks, Bokhara and Samarkand providing 1,000 each, Djizzak 500, and various other towns between 100 and 300 each. However, according to an eye-witness who served alongside them these 'showed little bravery and often ran away at the first shot.'

Regular, drilled infantry organised along Western European lines first appeared in Bokhara in the 1830s, when they were introduced under a Persian officer named Abd al-Samut Khan. This individual, a man with seemingly nine lives, had started the century serving in the Persian army, but had fled to India after being sentenced to death for murder and had apparently enlisted in the Honourable East India Company's army. After being condemned to death for another murder, he had escaped from prison and fled to Afghanistan, where he was employed by Dost Mohammed to train his army. However, he had wounded one of the Amir's sons on parade following an argument and, escaping from prison once again, had next fled to Bokhara, where he arrived in 1835. Here, through the medium of the Kushbegi Hakim Beg, he was able to persuade Amir Nasr-Ullah to establish a body of regular infantry, Vambery observing that 'as he certainly knew how to manage cannon far better than did the Uzbeks, and as he had learnt two or three French words of command, his master thought him a paragon of military capacity'. He was consequently appointed the Amir's Nayb or deputy, and placed at the head of the embryo army, thereby becoming one of the most influential men in the khanate. (7)

The soldiers constituting Abd al-Samut's new corps were called by the Persian term sarbazes, which according to J.P. Ferrier (1856) 'properly means playing with your head, or risking your life'. Despite their Persian name, however, their drill and the discipline by which they were governed were 'after the English fashion', having been apparently picked up by Abd al-Samut while serving in India. The men were theoretically volunteers, but in reality many were pressed, while others were either slaves or prisoners drafted from the jails. A Cossack prisoner who had served in the sarbazes in Abd al-Samut's time later recalled that they were 'chiefly Russian and Persian prisoners, with a few Uzbeks'. Indeed, by all accounts the majority seem initially to have been Persians — a mixture of political exiles, prisoners of war, and slaves (ghulams) purchased from the Turcomans. Khanikoff records that as many as 450 or more of the first 500 were Persians (8).

By February 1839 there were already about 400 sarbazes and more were being recruited. When Khanikoff visited Bokhara in autumn 1841 there were 1,000, and this number is alleged to have grown to some 2,500 over the next couple of years and probably increased steadily thereafter. Though one Russian officer, Colonel Glukhofski, was of the opinion that 'in 1865—66 the sarbazes, or standing army, amounted to not more than 2,000 badly-armed men', other sources mention 12 battalions existing by the time war broke out between Russia and Bokhara in 1866. Vambery mentions 5-7,000 sarbazes being available that year, and certainly official Russian reports state that there were about 5,000 'sarbazes and riflemen' present at the Battle of Irdjar. Of these only 1,000 are known with certainty to have escaped. Since the reputedly 10,000-strong garrison of Djizzak 'consisting of the remnant of the Amir's best troops' must have included at least some sarbazes, and since 2,000 more are known to have been included in the relief force which arrived there as the fort fell, it seems likely that their overall strength in 1866 probably stood at 10,000, or even more; 12 battalions would certainly suggest a paper strength of 12,000 men. This supposition is indirectly supported by the fact that in 1870 — two years after Amir Muzaffar-ed-din had capitulated, and therefore at a time when one would have expected the Bokharan army to be smaller than its pre-conquest strength rather than larger — Kostenko recorded the existence of 10,000 sarbazes in and around Bokhara and another 3,000 elsewhere. We also know from Kostenko that by this late date 'a large number' of Bokharan sarbazes were Uzbeks from Shahr-i-Sabz.

Though, since they effectively constituted the /15/ Amir's bodyguard, the majority of the sarbazes were based in Bokhara, some were employed to garrison other key points, or were detached for special duties in which their reliability could be depended on more than that of irregulars — the troops Muzaffar-ed-din left in Khokand to support Khudayar Khan in 1865, for instance, were sarbazes. Of the 13,000 sarbazes recorded by Kostenko as many as 8,000 were stationed in Bokhara, the balance being split between Shirbudun (the Amir's summer palace near Bokhara, where 2,000 were posted), Kulab (1,000), Shahr-i-Sabz (1,000), and Baljuan (1,000). By the 1880s at the very latest detachments of sarbazes were also customarily based 'on the frontiers towards Afghanistan'.

Just how disciplined or well-drilled pre-conquest sarbazes were is debatable. Even five years after the conquest John Trotter considered them as being only 'to some extent drilled', while according to Kostenko they could not even march in step. The drill instructors were principally a mixture of Russian and Afghan deserters (the latter said to be 'sepoy deserters from India'), whence Kostenko reports that sarbaz drill was 'generally a parody upon Russian forms', and that all words of command were given in Russian. In fact the words of command were actually a mixture of Russian, Uzbek and English, and had been framed by Abd al-Samut's successor, a Siberian Cossack deserter named Popoff who converted to Islam and adopted the name Osman. He is said to have 'introduced the Russian field manual, Russian words of command, Russian discipline, Russian uniforms, and even Russian military music' It is not clear exactly when he took command. He was executed in 1868, possibly for involvement in Abd al-Malik's rebellion, and is said by one contemporary to have commanded the army for 23 years — therefore since 1845, the very year that Abd al-Samut finally met his end (the Amir executed him) — though another says he only took command after the defeat at Irdjar in 1866. Might he have been the 'Russian artilleryman' seen at Bokhara by Taylor-Thomson as far back as 1843?

Like Kostenko, the American diplomat Eugene Schuyler, who visited Bokhara in 1873, also states that 'the words of command were a mixture of English, Russian and Turki', and adds that there was a trumpeter who 'blew his calls in a creditable manner.' The significance of the latter remark is that several later visitors record all commands being issued by trumpet, not by voice, this involving the learning of 'literally hundreds' of different calls. Lord Curzon, for instance, wrote in 1888 that 'every movement is smartly executed to the sound of a bugle, and the voice of the officers is never heard. There are some 150 signals, which it is not surprising to hear that it takes a man several years to learn.' Nevertheless, their proficiency at drill by this time impressed even Russian and British military men. It was clear to everyone, however, that the actual purpose of precision drilling, as an adjunct to disciplined manoeuvring on the battlefield, was a mystery to them. A story told at the time was that one Bokharan drill manoeuvre involved the army laying on its backs and waving its legs in the air by numbers, in imitation of Russian soldiers seen emptying their boots of water after having crossed the Zarafshan during the battle for Samarkand in 1868, the Bokharans having subsequently 'attributed magical significance' to the act!

As with Yakub Beg of Kashgar's later Red Sarbazes, Abd al-Samut's battalions had field-guns attached to them. In the war with Khokand in 1839, which was the first time they saw action, Abd al-Samut led 300 sarbazes 'who had brought with him [to the siege of the contested fort at Pishagar] some cannons of his own casting. His men were here called upon, for the first time, to show their superiority over the Uzbeks, who desired nothing better than to witness their defeat, because on the sarbazes rested the strength and importance of their bitterest enemy, the Nayb.' Put in command of the siege, he took Pishagar in August 1840 after the sarbazes' guns had subjected it to 'a prolonged cannonade'. By autumn 1841 his 1,000 sarbazes had 11 cannons and two mortars. Unsurprisingly, since they shared the same commander, artillerymen or topchis (from the Uzbek word for a gun, top) continued to be associated with the sarbazes thereafter, and had reached a strength of some 620 men by the Russian conquest and 1,000 by 1870.

In addition to a smallholding of State land, in Abd al-Samut's time the sarbazes and artillerymen are said to have been paid the equivalent of about 9s (45p) a month, probably indicating that they received a gold tilla; certainly this was their pay in 1873, though by then its value had increased to 13s, or 65p. However, most sources state that this sum was utterly inadequate for the soldiers' needs, so much so that they generally took on part-time jobs, or else moonlighted as farmers. As elsewhere, some even resorted to selling items of their equipment, up to and including their muskets. It didn't help that officers enriched themselves by pocketing much of their men's pay, a practice to which the Government turned a blind eye until it came under Russian influence in the 1870s, after which officers who over-indulged themselves were likely to be dismissed or even imprisoned.

Since (as M.Vi Valikhanof observed in 1856) the Bokharan army served 'as a model for the whole of Central Asia', its sarbazes were to provide the inspiration for similar units raised in Khiva, Khokand, and Kashgar in the 1850s and 1860s.

Unit organisation

Ordinary Bokharan soldiers were called sipahis or kara-alamans, while soldiers of the Amir's bodyguard were called galebaturs, all officers being promoted from amongst the latter. Organisation was on a decimal basis. The lowest officers' rank was that of da-bashi, or commander of ten men, above whom came the pinja-bashi (commander of 50), who had five da-bashis beneath him. Two pinja-bashis constituted the command of a yuz-bashi (commander of 100), and five yuz-bashis were the responsibility of a pansad-bashi (commander of 500), who was distinguished by a small flag called a bairak and assisted by a lieutenant called a tchouran-bashi. Predictably all such officers were at the very least members of the Uzbek aristocracy, the more senior posts being assigned to the Amir's relatives and court favourites, without regard to their suitability or experience.

Technically the above information applies specifically to the cavalry, though infantry organisation was probably similar. From anecdotal evidence we know /16/ that the sarbazes were certainly organised in companies of 100 men under yuz-bashis, and battalions of 1,000 men under ming-bashis (commanders of 1,000). It should be noted, however, that, as in other Central Asian armies, sarbaz battalions were customarily understrength, and sarbazes seem to be more often encountered in bodies of 500-800 men than 1,000. Sarbaz companies had both drummers and trumpeters, most commonly one of each (but sometimes more), as well as an instrument resembling a fife which, along with the drum, was played while troops were on the march.

Senior Bokharan officers, only appointed in wartime, comprised the ming-bashi, who, by mid-century, was more commonly known as a toksaba (i.e., 'one possessed of a tugh', or horsetail standard); the kurgan-begi, roughly equivalent to a brigadier-general; the dadkhwah, or divisional commander; and the parmanatchi, or army commander. The army commander-in-chief, who doubled as a sort of minister of the armed forces and commander of Bokhara's garrison, was an official called the Topchi-bashi or 'Commander of the Artillery' (properly the Topci Bosi-yi-Lashkar). Like the other senior military posts, this position was invariably put in the hands of the Amir's or, more usually, the vizier's most trusted confidant. This officer should not, incidentally, be confused with the less important Topci Bosi-yi-Darvoza-i Ark-i-'oliy ('Commander of the Artillery of the Gates of the Grand Ark'), who was responsible only for the defence of the citadel of Bokhara.

Bokharan troops drawn up on parade at Shahr-i-Sabz, from Lansdell's Russian Central Asia. The flags appear to be rectangular, and charged with indistinct devices and!or Arabic inscriptions.


Ming-bashis and pansad-bashis were accompanied by horsetail standards (tughs) and small flags (bairaks) respectively, and since we know from anecdotal evidence that cavalrymen were accompanied by one flag to approximately every 100 men, it seems fairly certain that yuz-bashis had their own. The form of these flags is not apparent. Though there are grounds for thinking that the bairak at least may have been square, and pictures in Lansdell's book, taken from contemporary photographs, certainly depict square flags in use amongst the sarbazes, Moser in 1883 specifically states that each Bokharan infantry battalion had a triangular flag of a different but unspecified colour. Probably both shapes could therefore be found in use. Some at least bore inscriptions, and others were of patterned brocade. Schuyler saw many Bokharan cavalry banners in 1873, but, alas, describes only one, this comprising 'a red teapot on a white ground', which rather suggests that Mamluk-style heraldry may have been in use amongst the Uzbek nobility. Cavalry standards were accompanied by mounted bands of kettle-drums, clarionets and trumpets.


Retaining possession of his own army was among the prerogatives left to the Amir following the Russian conquest. In the immediate post-conquest period it seems to have been maintained at much the same level as before, but was eventually decreased in consequence of what has been described as 'informal Russian pressure'. The figures quoted in the accounts of assorted visitors, however, rarely tally. A Russian colonel in 1874 recorded that there were just eight nominally 1,000-strong battalions of sarbazes, while the Russian commandant in Samarkand reported the existence of 10-15,000 sarbazes in 1880. Different informants told the British journalist /17/ Henry Lansdell, as he passed through the country in 1882, that there were 8,000, 10,000 and even 20,000 sarbazes. The figure of 20,000 came from a courtier, who said that there were '20 battalions of 1,000 each', and there may have been some truth in the claim since Henri Moser was given exactly the same details in 1883, while A. Le Messurier in 1887 similarly implies the existence of about 20,000 infantrymen. Probably these are merely paper strengths, however, and represent an actual strength that was considerably lower, assorted evidence suggesting 12-15,000 infantry to be nearer the mark; certainly O. Olufsen estimated in the 1890s that as much as 40% of the army existed only on paper. If the figure of 20,000 is true, however, it was the greatest strength the sarbazes ever achieved, since in 1891, and again in 1898, Russian officials proposed, on grounds of cost, (9) that the strength of the Bokharan army should be cut. Though no official request to this end was ever made, the size of the army gradually decreased after 1892, from a real strength of probably about 15,000 men of all arms to somewhat over 10,000 by 1898, in which year Francis Skrine recorded hearing rumours that it was going to be emasculated yet further, so that it would 'ultimately not exceed 3,000 men.'

Sarbaz internal organisation seems to have remained unchanged, with battalions still theoretically consisting of 1,000 men. However, Henri Moser recorded in 1883 that by then battalions consisted of an unspecified number of companies of about 150 men each, rather than ten companies of 100, while Le Messurier (1887) mentions seeing companies that were each of only about 45 men. Perhaps these figures simply represent overstrength and understrength companies respectively. The men were theoretically all volunteers, who served from the age of 18 till death according to Lansdell, but were mostly aged between 15-25 according to Moser. However, it was reported in 1880 that in reality many were still slaves or impressed peasants. Pay remained negligible. Moser was informed by an official that an infantryman's pay was 500 silver tangas per annum, from which were deducted the cost of his uniform and lodging; but a soldier told him that in fact they rarely received any pay at all, but got their food and lodging for free (since many actually lived in their own homes this probably means they had these rent-free (10)), and, as before, they followed their own trades in their spare time so as to earn a livelihood. Olufsen, visiting in the period 1896-99, records that 'as a rule they only serve on certain days a week. When the duty is over, they take off their uniform, and clad in the paternal dress they mind their civil trade.' This may very well also reflect earlier practice. Skrine found in 1898 that ordinary soldiers were actually only earning half as much as they had in 1873.

The regular cavalry remained an insignificant body, totalling just 2,000 men in 1874, though Lansdell was told in 1882 that there were 5-6,000, which is improbable. Le Messurier in 1887 reckoned that the army's overall strength was 25,000 men, while George Dobson in 1888 reckoned 15,000, totals which, if the figures quoted above for the infantry are true, and allowing in addition for the existence of 600-1,000 artillerymen, leave little room for cavalry. Certainly a Russian officer, G. Arandarenko, mentions the existence of only 'a small number' of cavalry in 1880, and Curzon records just two squadrons in 1888. As in earlier times, the bulk of Bokharan cavalry continued to be provided by the traditional militia, reported in 1874 to have been capable of fielding 30,000 men. These received 2-3 gold tillas when on active service, and a remount when necessary, but no pay in peacetime.

Theoretically the army's reduction in size was to have been accompanied by an increase in its efficiency and training, but this never seems to have materialised. Russians visiting the country during the first 40 years following its conquest were in universal agreement that the Bokharan army remained undisciplined, laughably drilled, poorly armed, and deficient in martial spirit. A Russian general, on being asked by Lord Curzon in 1888 'if he thought the Bokharan soldiery were any good', smiled and said 'They are possibly better than the Persians'; Curzon's own view was that they 'resembled an irregular gendarmerie rather than a standing army.' Even under direct Russian guidance — military instructors were first provided in 1881 — the army's efficiency never attained particularly high standards, the Amir having recognised, as he told numerous Russian officers, that T need no army; Russia is responsible for the integrity of Bokhara, and [additional] drill-instructors will only cost me more money.'

Despite its apparent shortcomings when judged by Western standards, however, the Bokharan army continued to be 'held in high esteem by the natives' and regarded with awe by its even less well-trained neighbours. Its quality was certainly sufficiently high to enable it to maintain internal order following Abd al-Malik's rebellion in 1868, and to campaign successfully in Hissar and Kulab in 1870, and Karategin and Darwaz in 1877-78." Nevertheless, its post-conquest duties centred mostly around frontier defence and internal police duties, and it saw very little service in the field.


The Bokharans seem to have had little idea of strategy, and their few foreign military advisors (Persian, Cossack, or Afghan) had 'too slight a knowledge' of Western military science to exert much influence on battlefield tactics.

It is evident from contemporary Russian reports that the Bokharans depended quite heavily on their usually considerable numerical advantage when confronting their enemies in the open field. Western sources seem to agree that they were good horsemen ('a superior description of irregular cavalry' according to Burnes), and several reluctantly credit them as being 'fairly courageous'. Their cavalry employed the traditional Asiatic tactic of envelopment, being invariably recorded 'pressing hard' on the flanks and rear of the enemy's columns. Clouds of horsemen would charge in and fall back at will, delivering their attacks to an accompaniment of loud shouting and at considerable speed 'because their horses are very fast'. The hope was that these niggling attacks would disrupt the enemy's array sufficiently to enable the Bokharans to exploit their superiority in horsemanship and swordsmanship on a man-to-man basis. This inevitably meant that when confronted by disciplined close-order troops such as were fielded by the Russians they generally met with little success beyond what might be achieved by mere numbers. The fate of the vanguard tended to decide a /18/ contest, since if the first Bokharan attack was soundly repulsed the army was likely to withdraw, usually at such speed that pursuit was futile.

Against the Russians their attacks were concentrated on the baggage column, in the hope that by depriving them of provisions they would be obliged to fall back. At the very least attacks on the baggage usually slowed the Russian advance. They also learnt how to deal with Cossack cavalry, Romanovski observing in 1866 that 'it more than once happened during the conflict and the pursuit that, observing the disorder into which our Cossacks were thrown when elated with success, the Bokharans [deliberately] rapidly fell back, and at the same time threw forward bodies of horse to take us in flank or to fall upon the guns, which were sometimes left entirely exposed to attack.' Elsewhere he conceded that 'being composed of cavalry capable of moving swiftly from one place to another, they might have proved very dangerous to us if we had suffered the least check or had shown any hesitation.' However, the Russians' few significant reverses owed more to their own overconfidence and inadequate reconnaissance than to Bokharan military proficiency. On all other occasions Russian training, discipline, and superior firepower prevailed.

We know that mid-century Khokandian horsemen dismounted in order to use their firearms, so it is no surprise to read in Mohan Lai (1846) that the Bokharans, likewise, 'cannot fire on horseback', but instead used lances and javelins when fighting mounted. That they were prepared to fight on foot is apparent from numerous anecdotes of the Russian conquest period, when cavalry militia could be found defending forts and entrenched positions. Indeed, it was when fighting from behind defences that the Bokharans were at their bravest and most stubborn, Kostenko observing of Central Asians in general that they possessed 'the virtue of stubborn bravery', and, once behind defences of any description, however slight, would coolly face death rather than surrender, even when subjected to murderous fire. Romanovski similarly conceded that they 'still displayed real heroism' even as Russian bayonet charges steam­rollered over them. Unsurprisingly, therefore, field-fortifications were raised at every opportunity, as, for instance, to defend the Zarafshan river-crossing in 1868, and at the Battle of Irdjar in 1866, the latter being defended courageously even in the face of grape-shot fired point-blank from the Russian guns. However, as seems to have been usual with Asiatic entrenchments, these had no flank defences and were easily turned by Cossack cavalry. The entrenchments at Irdjar seem to have been formed in at least two lines, with guns emplaced in the first (12).

Typically ornate Bokharan horse-blanket and head-stall. The former is of red velvet embroidered in gold and silver, while the latter is heavily decorated with turquoises and cornelians. Such horse-harnesses were in fairly widespread use throughout the Central Asian khanates.

Their artillery, which eye-witnesses attest was 'operated with great rapidity and perseverance', customarily opened fire at 'great range', well in excess of that attainable by the less powerful and often rather dated field-guns accompanying Russian expeditions. However, though the direction of their shooting was 'very correct', their lack of practice meant that they usually failed to get the range right (David Ker commented in 1873 that 'if a ball went anywhere near the mark it was counted a good shot'). On the battlefield they generally tended to overshoot, enabling the more accurate Russian guns to close to effective range and overwhelm them in what transpired in every case to be a very one-sided artillery duel. The capabilities of Bokharan artillery are best summed up by General Romanovski's description of the defence of Ura-Tiube in 1866, where, after observing that 'the material portion of the artillery was imperfect', he states that 'justice must be done to the Bokharan artillerymen by saying that they availed themselves to perfection of the materials they possessed. Having large supplies of powder and shot, the Bokharans brought their guns to play with great precision, especially at long distances; firing with heavy charges, and almost vertically, they hit all the surrounding heights at a distance of 1,800 yds and more with remarkable accuracy.' He also records, in his report on the Battle of Irdjar, that under most circumstances Bokharan artillerymen stood to their guns under the heaviest fire, and defended them to the death against attacking infantry.

In the only occasions on which sarbazes can be identified in action, other than in siege situations, they are found defending entrenchments. However, we know that they were trained to fight drawn up in line, with the front rank kneeling to fire, and they are said to have been able to deploy thus 'with some proficiency', though with 'no very particular attention paid either to dressing or distance.' On the march they rode whenever they could, Schuyler in 1876 recording seeing some on foot but most 'on horses, camels, or donkeys, often several on one animal'.

Because of the logistical problems of campaigning in such a poor and sparsely vegetated country, under most circumstances the army was only able to remain in the field for a maximum of about three months at a time. Attacks on fortified places, which could last considerably longer, therefore tended to involve most /19/ of the army in scouring the country for supplies while a small force was left to concentrate on the actual prosecution of the siege.


Bokharan towns invariably had semi-ruinous, buttressed clay walls, and a citadel or ark, usually reinforced with an outer layer of baked bricks, that was generally surrounded by the town on three sides. Kostenko describes how 'nearly all the important towns of Central Asia are surrounded with high mud walls, which in many places are flanked by two-storeyed and even three or four-storeyed towers. The ditches which surround the walls are dug in several rows, and are filled with water, which, in some cases, reaches to a depth of 28 or more feet. On the top of the walls, on the outer side, are built thin crenellated walls, of the height of a man, and these are pierced with embrasures. The wooden gates are strengthened with iron, and form a corridor in the wall.' More important towns boasted several concentric lines of immensely thick walls with a separate citadel, surrounded by its own deep ditches, placed on an eminence somewhere within the town. Only the gateways into the town were usually constructed entirely of baked bricks. The principal weakness of such town fortifications was — as the Russians discovered to their advantage — that the very extent of the walls prevented them from being adequately defended.

Elsewhere in the country, notably in the disputed Zarafshan district between Khokand and Bokhara, there were numerous generally dilapidated hill-forts constructed of sun-dried brick. These were generally very small, averaging about 50 paces square, and possessed garrisons comprising just a handful of men. The country's largest forts were those on the frontier with Khokand, the most important of which had actually been built by, and captured from, the Khokandians. Ura-Tiube had a great number of turrets, a double row of high walls, and a deep ditch, all the towers and barbettes being provided with guns. Djizzak had 'a triple row of walls, one rising above the other (the outer one was 21 ft high, and 24 ft thick); a triple row of trenches, the front one being in parts as many as 11 yds deep; a great number of barbettes and of works projected very far out, which well flanked the trenches, the outlying country, too, being exposed to a crossfire from them; the very system of the construction of the new fortifications of Djizzak, which were a great improvement on the old Bokharan forts, i.e., the system of sloping apertures, of covered ways, also with screened apertures; all this gave Djizzak really a very formidable appearance.'

As has already been noted, Bokharan soldiers fought with considerable determination from behind defensive works, and the same was equally true of civilians defending their towns. It was even said, with some justification, that these 'often made a stouter defence than the regular soldiers'. Kostenko considered that the capture of towns and fortresses was always 'a more serious affair than an engagement in the open field', and contemporary sources indicate that the Russians generally suffered considerably greater losses in such actions than they did on the battlefield. The Russians initially set about attacking such sites by regular siege techniques — throwing up approaches, digging trenches, and so on, which, as Kostenko admits, proved costly in both time and men. After 1860, however, they switched to escalading the fortifications instead, blowing breaches in the walls by means of batteries set up at no more than 350 yds (320 m) range and then storming in.


The Uzbeks of Bokhara are said to have had 'swarthy faces' and to have resembled Mongols, except that 'their eyes are bigger and they are rather more handsome.' Others were considered to resemble Persians. Khanikoff describes their hair as 'reddish or dark brown', but most other authorities state that the great majority were black-haired. However, their heads were shaved, though every man that could do so grew a beard.

Dress was pretty much the same throughout the Central Asian khanates, and much of what follows applies with equal validity to Kashgar, Khiva, and Khokand, and vice versa.

Underclothes were of white cotton in summer or woollen cloth in winter. These comprised short, wide trousers resembling knee-length shorts, baggy enough to hold three men, into which was stuffed a square, sack-like shirt called apiran, described as 'low at the neck and a little down the breast', where it was edged with coloured braid, mostly red. The shirt was fastened at the neck with strings. Over the shorts and shirt was worn a long, plain, dark-coloured cotton or woollen kaftan, usually described in 19th century books as a khalat (Russian for 'dressing-gown'), but properly called a don or ton. This was open from neck to foot, with all its edges braided, and had a sort of high collar that was usually turned back. It was secured across the chest by two tapes, and by a cummerbund round the waist. All but the poorest Bokharans wore a second, long-sleeved and generally brightly-coloured gown over this, the sleeves being described by several travellers — with very little exaggeration — as 'twice as long as the arms'. This gown was known as a choga or aladja, but in Western sources is often referred to, like the inner one, as a khalat. It was of silk, chintz, or a silk and cotton cloth called mushroo.

The choga was invariably brilliantly patterned and coloured, one traveller describing every Bokharan civilian he saw as 'an animated rainbow'. Burnes says they wore 'the brightest colours, which would be intolerable to any but an Uzbek', while Curzon saw khalats in which 'the brightest crimson and blue and purple and orange are juxtaposed or interlaced'. W.R. Rickmers, visiting in the late-1890s, wrote that 'there are khalats quite green, or white, or yellow; black with red stripes, green with blue bands, purple with white lightning, or any two stripes or three or four of any tint you like, bright or subdued. There are lines, dots, circles, snakes, flowers, splashes shouting their shapes of crimson, scarlet, orange, emerald, or brown, from a background of ultramarine, grey, sapphire, gold or silver, yet are they never gaudy, such is the secret of their beauty'.

As with the inner gown, the outer choga was secured at the waist by a cummerbund, though most men, or at least those of substance, wore in addition a leather belt, from which, in the absence of pockets, were suspended by straps such everyday items as a tobacco-pouch, tinder-box, knife, razor, toothpick, money-pouch, small embroidered purses for tea, pepper, and salt, plus /20/ shot and powder bags. Vambery records that 'these items constitute the indispensables of a Central Asiatic, and by the quality and value of each is a judgement formed of the character and breeding of the man.'

Another form of baggy outer gown was the chapan, which, though not uncommonly just as brightly coloured and patterned, was more usually made of hard-wearing, yellowish-brown camel's wool. This was worn when travelling on horseback, to protect the finer choga beneath it from dirt and wear, and it was consequently the commonest variety of gown seen amongst militiamen serving in the field. In Bokhara it was generally so large that, according to Vambery, 'two people can envelop themselves in it'. He goes on to say that 'it is a highly ludicrous sight to see a man trot along in this smock-frock-like garment, full of folds, and puffing out at every part, and though I can well understand the many folds round the chest, forming as they do a receptacle for a whole set of cooking utensils, and all the necessaries for travelling, and food to last at least for two days, yet it will always be a mystery to me why the sleeves are twice as long as the arms, and what is the advantage of tucking them up and making an enormous roll or puff on the top of the arm.' Protective over-trousers called chambars were also worn, into which the skirts of an individual's khalats could be stuffed. Chambars were either of leather, dyed yellow with pomegranate or red with madder, or of velvet. Both types were usually 'showily embroidered' at the front and round the bottom with coloured silk thread.

Normal practice in winter was to simply wear more and more gowns, one over another, though some invested either in a khalat provided with a thicker, padded lining, of linen, sheepskin, or even fur, while others added a chakman, a similar gown to those already described but made of felt or coarse, thick cloth. The hands were kept warm by simply pulling the long sleeves down over them. In particularly cold conditions a long fur gown called a postun (poshteen) was worn by such as could afford one, this being most often of sheepskin, though wolf, otter, and fox skin were also used.

Puttees were generally wrapped round the lower leg in place of stockings, though these could not be seen on account of the fact that all Bokharans customarily wore knee-length boots. The lower-classes wore ordinary, unremarkable brown boots, but most horsemen and mounted soldiers wore high-heeled, untanned black leather boots. More affluent men and the upper-classes in general often substituted a sort of morocco leather stocking with a flexible foot, over which a wooden-soled, iron-bound, thicker leather overshoe called a kaush was worn outdoors, this being kicked off on entering a house. Both the latter types had thin heels at least lV2-inches (40 mm) tall, which tapered to a point, sometimes of iron, exaggeratedly described as 'scarcely broader than a nail's head'.

Head-dress comprised a pointed cotton or silk skull-cap (kalapush) embroidered with coloured thread, round which was wound a large white turban (salla or chalma) made from up to 50-60 ft (15-18 m) of cloth, the ends of which hung down at the left shoulder (see Figure 3a). Although white turbans had originally been the special privilege of mullahs, their use had gradually spread, until eventually they were worn by officials, functionaries, and soldiers alike. Several travellers actually considered the white turban to be Bokhara's national head-dress. However, where worn by classes other than those specified above it was, for most of this period, customarily distinguished by narrow blue or red stripes (which gave it the impression of being finely chequered), Khanikoff even stating that he saw turbans dyed completely red. However, even this distinction seems to have eventually disappeared, and when Lord Curzon visited Bokhara in 1888 he found that every man wore 'an abundant white turban'. The size and specific shape of the turban, however, continued to be determined by the station and rank of the wearer; mullahs and Government ministers having the largest.

Another type of head-dress still to be seen was the traditional tilpak or kalpak, a broadcloth or velvet cap, generally red, lined and trimmed with fur or sheepskin. Though it had been largely displaced by the turban, it was still often substituted for it in winter. It was also still worn by some infantry soldiers, though most substituted a wool or fur cap.

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 Аrmy of Bukhara emirate 1900-1920
Sent: 10-06-2013 03:41

In the earlier part of this period the dress of all soldiers was indistinguishable from that of civilians. Meyendorff, for instance, records those he saw in 1820 as wearing white turbans and long, gold-embroidered khalats of various colours, 'some of striped silk, the others of cloth'. In 1821/2 James Fraser similarly described Bokharan soldiers as being 'dressed in the Yarkand fashion', in kincob and silk gowns and cummerbunds. However, though such dress remained the norm amongst the cavalry militia for the rest of the century, uniforms appeared with the introduction of the sarbaz regular infantry in the late-1830s.

Despite the fact that — unsurprisingly, since the corps was founded by a Persian — sarbaz uniforms were at first very Persian (see Figures 1 and 2), they soon mellowed into a style that was in most respects a hybrid between Uzbek and European styles. Indeed, to the casual observer there was probably little to distinguish many sarbazes of the 1850s and 1860s from the majority of lower-class Bokharans; Vambery, for instance, described the dress of 200 sarbazes he saw in 1864 as differing little from that of Bokharan civilians except in that they 'had thrown leather accoutrements over their clumsy Bokhariot dress, and that was supposed to entitle them to the name of regular troops.'

There seem to be no pictures or worthwhile descriptions of sarbaz uniforms of the Russian conquest period, but there are several dating to the 1870s, and it is highly unlikely that there had been any change in the interim. It is clear from these that red was the standard colour of Bokharan infantry uniforms. Kostenko in 1870, for instance, records the sarbazes wearing red jackets, yellow leather chambars, boots, and a grey or black sheepskin cap; and those seen at Kitab by Schuyler in 1873 'wore scarlet coats, black trousers, and black fur caps. Buttons were scattered over the breast in one or several lines, as the wearer's fancy dictated, and on one soldier I noticed buttons which bore the arms and numbers of English, French, German and Russian regiments.' Other soldiers seen at Karshi were in 'every kind of uniform', which is probably a reference to cut rather than colour. See also Figures 5-9. /21/

Fundamentally, sarbaz uniforms of the 1870s, the earlier part of the 1880s and, in all probability, the 1860s, consisted of: a red, single-breasted jacket of non-descript but generally short cut, which was liberally provided with military brass buttons of European provenance; a cummerbund; black trousers, which were usually concealed by baggy yellow leather chambars, described by C.E. Yate in 1887 as 'largely covered with embroidery' (though photographs indicate that many were actually plain); high-heeled black leather boots; and a black or grey sheepskin or fur hat, which seems to have come in a variety of shapes and sizes (see the figures). Moser (1883) says that some jackets were 'decorated with old Russian braid', and records that other regular soldiers he saw wore what sound like chogas — 'long gowns with turned up skirts, which sometimes showed their bare legs'. Leather waist-belts or shoulder-belts seem to have been fitted with a single ammunition pouch. The red colour of their coats, incidentally, appears to have varied, probably from individual to individual, one source describing it as brick red, another as 'the brightest red'.

From about the mid-1880s the cut of uniforms began to reflect Russian influence. Curzon and Dobson, both visiting in 1888, described the sarbazes they saw as wearing tunics that were 'an imitation of the Russian uniform', complete with red shoulder-boards bearing 'Russian letters'. Their other items of attire, however — black sheepskin cap, chambars ('abundant pantaloons'), and boots — remained unchanged, probably because only the tunic and cap were official issue, the soldier being expected to provide the rest of his dress for himself. Le Messurier, present in Bokhara the previous October, described the whole uniform as 'a black sheepskin cap, black or red single-breasted coat with red piping, red shoulder-knot with Russian numbers, broad waist-belt with pouch, crimson trousers, and high boots.' This brief note contains two points of particular interest, one being the first reference to a tunic colour other than red (as far as Le Messurier could discern, about half the 20 companies he saw had red coats, and half black), the other being that their chambars were red rather than yellow, though yellow was certainly still being worn in 1887. Both colours had always been in use amongst Bokharan civilians, but the descriptions of Bokharan troops wearing red chambars in place of yellow ones hereafter, coupled with photographic evidence of the same period, indicates that the tailored red 'chambari' worn by Russian troops serving in Central Asia had now been adopted in place of the traditional native variety. Olufsen, writing at the end of the 1890s, likewise mentions sarbazes wearing 'red leather trousers', plus long boots, dark coats with 'shoulder-flaps', and fur caps. The Russian cut of such uniforms can be seen in Figure (10).

Kostenko describes the uniforms of topchis, or artillerymen, as blue 'kaftans' with red collars in 1870, but both Le Messurier and Yate record them as wearing green (Yate says bright green) in 1887. From pictorial sources we know that their dress was otherwise similar to that of the infantry, though it is apparent from photographs of the late 1880s and the 1890s that they were less uniformly attired. Le Messurier also provides our only clue regarding the dress of the few regular cavalrymen, who, he says, wore white, Russian-style uniforms. Moser had seen soldiers in white uniforms a few years earlier, in 1883, so perhaps these were cavalrymen too.

The Amir's mounted guardsmen seem to have worn more distinctively Asiatic attire, described in 1897 as comprising 'large white turbans, and khalats of silk, purple and amber, red and gold-colour or red and white different designs'. Another visitor the same year describes them as 'green and red-striped', and 'bright with their many-coloured striped garments'. However, a guard seen at the palace on the same occasion was 'exceedingly ragged and dirty-looking', and we know from other anecdotes that their more colourful attire was customarily donned only on special occasions.

Officers seem to have worn whatever took their fancy, from glaringly bright native attire to imitation European uniforms. Junior officers Moser saw in 1883 wore jackets with Russian braid, while senior officers wore brick-red coats with epaulettes, 'Bokharan orders' (silver and gold stars, with jewelled decoration), and silver rouble coins sewn onto the breast of their jackets. He observed that though others wore long khalats, 'every officer wore a different coloured costume. Sky blue, orange, dark red, brown, violet, and many more, which looked side by side like the inside of a paint-box. All wore on their heads a very tall Astrakhan cap, and on their feet low boots with very narrow high heels.' Dobson records an officer 'dressed very much like his men, only in a longer coat, and, besides a curved sword hanging from the belt, he carried a battle-axe in his right hand'; Lansdell, recording a similarly equipped officer in 1882, explains that the battle-axe — this time carried in the belt — was 'indicative of his rank', axes having been a symbol of rank in Central Asia and Mongolia since mediaeval times.

Rickmers tells us that where native dress was worn rather than a uniform, rank and social status were denoted by 'the gorgeousness of material, the costliness of the belt, the twist and width of the turban, and other /22/ niceties of apparel.' Meyendorff, for instance, described how in 1820 the silk gowns of ming-bashis were 'ornamented with large gold flowers; their gown is ordinarily of red cloth, with a large pattern in gold'. Schuyler describes yuz-bashis in 1876 wearing 'gowns made of Kashmir shawl, with highly wrought silver belts.' The belts mentioned by both he and Rickmers were a characteristic feature of Bokharan officers' dress, being worn with both native costume and European uniforms. They consisted of a wide band of woven silk, usually decorated with silver plates and silver-inlaid steel buckles, but occasionally including gold and semi-precious stones.

Khanikoff mentions that in 1841 cavalry militia officers could be distinguished in addition by the gold and silver decoration of their daggers and the fact that they had 'small trumpets, attached to the left side of the front pommel of the saddle'.

Bokharan officers' woven silk belts. The top one is decorated with silver plates, the middle two have silver inlaid steel buckles, and the buckle at the bottom is silver, heavily inlaid with gold and turquoises.


In the first half of the 19th century the majority of Bokharan cavalrymen were armed with one or more long knives; a curved sword, either the native kilij, the slightly more curved Persian shamshir, or the North Indian tulwar, and a heavy, 20 ft (6.1 m) lance with a small, four-edged blade, the shaft of which was generally constructed of several pieces of willow wood spliced together so robustly that, so Burnes records, 'they never break at the joinings'. In addition many men still carried javelins even at the time of the Russian conquest, but perhaps only a third had matchlocks, and those that did are said to have used them indifferently, and never from horseback, always dismounting if they were required to shoot. As late as 1866 a Cossack patrol encountered a band of about 500 Bokharan cavalrymen in which not a single man possessed a firearm. However, whilst long spears were still in evidence (they disappeared c.1880), most of the Bokharan troops that Schuyler saw on the march ten years later — cavalry and infantry alike — were armed with matchlocks, a few even having flintlocks and percussion muskets. Yet as late as 1889, when they were apparently first issued with firearms, Bokhara's few regular cavalry continued to be armed principally with sabres.

Armour was also still in fairly widespread use in the 1820s, though by 1841, when Khanikoff wrote, mail corselets and iron helmets were amongst the 'marks of distinction' to be found in use only amongst the upper-classes, state officials, and officers, though confusingly he also states that 'a helmet and collar' were part of what he describes as the 'full equipment of the Bokharan troops'. Mail corselets were of the usual Perso-Egyptian form, i.e., knee-length, with an opening at the chest (secured with hooks and eyes) and elbow-length sleeves, and they were usually worn under a gold and silver-decorated steel char-aina. Such armour appears to have been worn for the last time during the war against the Russians in 1866-68. A circular, Persian-style steel or buffalo-hide shield (kalkan), complete with the usual four small steel bosses, remained in use until much the same date.

The traditional Bokharan firearm was the matchlock, or miltyk, provided with the long, hinged A or A-shaped wooden prong-rest characteristic of Central Asian firearms. By the 1880s vertically or even spirally-rifled versions were being manufactured. The first modern firearms introduced into the country seem to have been the 1,000 flintlock muskets imported — apparently from India — for Abd al-Samut's sarbazes at the end of the 1830s. However, they proliferated only relatively slowly thereafter. In 1866, for instance, the garrison of Djizzak was still largely equipped with matchlocks, even though many men had 'very good muskets of the European pattern', some of them percussion-operated. One source states that even in 1870 the sarbazes were 'badly-armed, there being not more than 2,000 matchlocks on rests to be found among 10,000 men, and a few percussion arms in possession of the officers', while Kostenko claimed that 'hardly 200' were provided with flintlocks. By 1874, however, this situation had been reversed, and there were now apparently 'very few matchlocks' among them, the majority being armed instead 'with flintlocks and with old percussion guns', largely obtained from Russia. The sarbazes' muskets were provided with bayonets from their first introduction, these being of various forms ranging from triangular-section British types to a curved variety of unknown provenance. Even as late as 1888 many sarbazes also carried a sabre.

Though described by Khanikoff as 'rarely used', flintlock pistols (topandshas) were also to be found as early as c.1840, when the sarbazes are reported to have carried two each in addition to their muskets. By the Russian conquest handguns were much more widespread, the Russians even finding 'a great many revolvers' at Djizzak in 1866.

In 1882 Lansdell found many matchlocks still in use at minor outposts, and records seeing regulars at Kitab whose 'muskets were of all degrees of antiquity, one having been stamped in the year of grace 1800.' The following year Moser saw infantry with old percussion muskets and prong-rest flintlocks, Yate saw 'very rusty old muskets' in 1887, and many flintlock muskets were still in evidence at least as late as 1909. However, in 1883 the Russians supplied Amir Muzaffar-ed-din with 1,000 Berdan rifles (which, however, were not issued until after his death in 1885), and Abd al-Ahad purchased an additional 2,000 in 1889, all of these going to re-equip his bodyguard troops. These are doubtless the same Berdan rifles that Skrine records in 1898 as having been 'presented to the Amir some years ago'. He calculated that about 10% of the army was armed with Berdan rifles, the rest allegedly having percussion muskets, probably a mixture of smoothbores and rifles (matchlocks seem to have disappeared from use in the late-1890s). Perhaps more significant, however, is the fact that as late as the end of the century, a Bokharan observer noted that 'troops had to drill on alternate days as there were not enough rifles to equip them all.'

Even with modern firearms, the quality of Bokharan shooting was apparently low. Kostenko stated bluntly in 1870 that 'the men cannot shoot', and a Cossack officer reported in 1894 that the accuracy of the army's fire was no better than that of 'a simple crowd of armed individuals chosen at random.' Target-practice was not unknown — Schuyler records being woken up at daylight at Shahr-i-Sabz in 1876 by 'the continual firing of the soldiers, who were exercising at the fortress' — but seems to have been uncommon and largely ineffective. /23/


The size of Bokhara's field-artillery establishment increased steadily during the first half of the 19th century, from about ten pieces in 1820, to 41 by 1832, and some 60-80 by 1846. How many of these were actually serviceable, however, is open to question. Meyendorff records that of the ten he saw in 1820 'only three or four are mounted on gun-carriages'. Burnes observed that 'the park of cannon lies neglected in the citadel, for the Uzbeks do not properly appreciate the value of artillery, and the king has only to contend with horse. There are no native artillerymen, and the guns are separated from their carriages, which ... are by no means efficient.' Mohan Lai, noting the existence of 60 guns, comments that 'no-one is qualified to use them', and certainly most artillerymen in the early part of the period appear to have been either Persians or Russians. In 1820 even the commander of the artillery himself — the Topchi-bashi — was an old Russian soldier.

Burnes describes the 41 guns he records in 1832 as all being of brass and says that 'three-fourths of them appeared to be small field-pieces, 4 and 6-pdrs. There are four mortars; the rest are large guns.' What he does not say is that in all probability many of these were unserviceable, and probably at least half were without carriages. Artillery associated with Abd al-Samut's sarbazes in February 1839 totalled two guns which he was seen exercising, and six more that 'lay on the ground and were being polished.' Elsewhere in the city there were 'nine pieces of cannon mounted and ten mortars', and another 100 pieces were said to be 'in another building, and ... carriages were ready for several of them.' Another report of the situation in Abd al-Samut's time records 'about 80 pieces which had been cast in the country, besides those taken from the Khokandians. There were a few mortars among them, but the most part were 12-pdr guns; of these more than 50 were kept in and around the Amir's palace itself.' Once again, it should be remembered that the bulk of these would have been without carriages or otherwise unfit for service, especially since in 1860 there were reported to be only 15 guns and three mortars in Bokhara, which probably represent the available serviceable artillery. This number had been increased slightly before the outbreak of war with Russia, 21 guns being present at the Battle of Irdjar in 1866, while 18 accompanied the field-force which attempted to relieve Djizzak later the same year. Significantly, Kostenko was of the opinion that of the total of 200 guns he recorded at Bokhara in 1870 there were 'hardly a score fit for use'.

Though the entirety of what constituted the field-artillery was concentrated at Bokhara, the majority of fortified sites were also equipped with guns. Ura-Tiube and Djizzak, for instance, had 16 and 53 guns respectively in 1866, as is testified by Russian lists of more than 120 pieces captured during that year. From these detailed listings it is apparent that by far the most popular pieces were 3 and 6-pdrs, which between them constituted a third of all the guns taken. Most of the others were 2-pdrs or smaller (as many as 57 were described simply as 'of small calibre', i.e., firing shot of one pound or less — in other words swivels, or jingalls). The only pieces larger than 6-pdrs were two brass 12-pdrs captured on the battlefield at Irdjar, an iron 60-pdr taken in Khodjend, and a 72-pdr mortar taken at Ura-Tiube. Excluding the swivels, in those instances where the metal is specified there are slightly more cast or wrought iron pieces than there are brass (all the swivels were iron). Barrel lengths varied considerably, but most were between about 40 and 60 ins (1.0-1.5 m). Several of the 6-pdrs, however, had barrels between 70 and 115 ins (1.8-2.9 m) long. All of them were smoothbores, the first rifled guns apparently not being obtained until the /24/ beginning of the 20th century, when the Tsar presented Amir Abd al-Ahad with a battery of four. Other sources tell us that the largest Bokharan guns were of cast-iron, with barrels 12-15 ft (3.7-4.6 m) long. 'Hundreds' of these were allegedly still to be seen in the gun-sheds at Bokhara in 1910.

19th century field-pieces, photographed in the gun-shed in front ofthe Ark (citadel) at Bokhara in 1919. It seems likely that these are the same pieces 'of antiquated make' that Francis Skrine saw here in 1898. Note the very Russian appearance of Bokharan uniforms by this time.

What is clear from all the sources is that Bokharan guns adhered to no standardisation whatsoever of calibre, size, or weight. This was due as much as anything to the fact that they originated from so many (different sources, many being captured Persian or Afghan pieces. Schuyler recorded of the guns that he saw lying outside the Ark in 1876 that 'some had been captured in Khokand, and as they bear dragons and other similar devices, had, probably, been previously taken from the Chinese in Kashgar'; and Jules Leclerq in 1890 described the guns at Bokhara as 'a mixture of captured Persian and Turkish pieces, and European guns, many of them a hundred years old.'

Despite the generally poor quality of his guns (Schuyler described the majority of them as being 'utterly worthless', while James Hutton says that many 'were not mounted, or were honeycombed, or otherwise worthless'), Amir Muzaffar-ed-din is said to have prized his field-artillery very highly, and, to be fair, it appears to have performed courageously, if ineffectually, on the battlefield. The inaccuracy of its fire and bravery of its gunners have already been commented on above. What form its organisation took — beyond each detachment of guns, in the field or in a fort, being commanded by an officer called a topchi-bashi — is unknown, but there are no indications that field-batteries conformed to any set size or composition. We read of some field-guns being horse-drawn in 1866, probably 'unicorn'-fashion (two horses harnessed abreast, preceded by a third horse) if the practices of neighbouring Asian states are anything to go by. Ten years later Schuyler records seeing a Bokharan army on the march with its smaller pieces dismounted and carried on camels, while three large guns were 'drawn by horses and camels'. They used no limbers, and their generally rickety carriages, described as being 'only able to be moved with great difficulty', appear to have already been a mixture of European and Asiatic types even in the 1840s. A Russian report, for instance, describes guns captured at Djizzak fort in 1866 as mounted on gun-carriages 'well-made according to the English pattern', while Meyendorff records carriages with a small third wheel mounted in the trail, also to be seen in pictures dating to the 1870s. The largest guns had carriages with wheels up to 8 ft (2.4 m) in diameter.

In addition to conventional artillery, there was also, until about the middle of the century, a cavalry unit 'armed with great heavy pieces called djezanlis [i.e., jezails, or jingalls], which were carried either in carts or on the backs of camels.'An old sarbaz of Abd al-Samut's time later recalled that 'when they were to be fired, the men set them down and lay down full length behind them, and so let fly; but although they made noise enough, they seemed to me to be of very little use, except that they sometimes killed the men who fired them.' In 1839 another source records the existence of 130 such 'camel swivels', calling them shahins. Judging from the Russian lists of 1866 these weapons were subsequently distributed amongst the country's various forts.

Opinions on the quality of Bokharan gunpowder seem to vary. Burnes described it in 1832 as serviceable, while in the following decade — by which time it was being manufactured by a Sikh Army deserter — Mohan Lai considered that it was poor.

1 & 2. SARBAZES c.1840
The appearance of Abd al-Samut's sarbazes is known from a drawing reproduced in /25/ Joseph Wolff's Narrative of a Mission to Bokhara, from which this infantryman and officer are taken. A soldier who had served in the unit told Ker in 1873 that 'their uniform was a red jacket and white trousers, with a high black cap made of sheepskin'. The cut of the trousers and the cap, it will be noticed from the picture, was entirely Persian. He also reported that the unit's artillerymen 'wore much the same dress, only they had black jackets instead of red.' In the drawing artillerymen lack the crossbelts, which support an ammunition pouch and the bayonet. Sarbaz armament at this date is described as consisting of a musket, sabre, and two pistols, though only the musket is in evidence in the original drawing.

Based largely on drawings by Moser, this man wears characteristic Bokharan attire, consisting of a turban wrapped round a skull-cap, one or more brightly-patterned khalats tucked into embroidered leather chambars, and boots. He is typically armed with a sabre and lance, and has a firearm slung across his back. Note the characteristically long saddlecloth — a Bokharan specialty — which covers most of the horse's back and hangs down on either side, '2 ft from the withers and 3 ft behind.' These saddlecloths were often ornate; one described in 1882 was 'of crimson velvet, embroidered with gold and silver thread and silk of various colours, in seven large foliate patterns, surrounded by a scroll border of similar workmanship, and edged with wide amber and crimson fringe, the whole being adorned by spangles of silver and gold.' The bridle might be similarly ornate, 'mounted with bosses, pendents, and ornaments of turquoise cloisonne work'. As was customary in Central Asia, the Bokharans rode without spurs, controlling the horse instead with a short whip, the qamchi, which had a short wooden handle and a thick, stiff thong of plaited leather. This was suspended from the wrist when not in use. Horses were small, and generally unshod. Other Bokharan jigits would have been like those depicted in Figures 16-20.


This reconstruction depicts typical Bokharan armour of the period, consisting of mail corselet, char-aina, Persian bazubands, and helmet with sliding nasal and mail aventail, all based on surviving examples.

These figures, from drawings and photographs by assorted foreign visitors, impart something of the 'rough and ready' appearance and varied dress of Bokharan regular infantry during this period, when they were almost always described as 'tattered'. It is difficult to know exactly how to interpret the sketch from which Figure 7 comes, but he appears to be wearing separate gaiters with a stripe. Where Western firearms were carried the bayonet seems to have been invariably attached to the musket rather than sheathed. Note in particular the bugler and drummer; drums came in many shapes and sizes, from European-style side-drums to large ones such as this. Each company had at least one drummer, and there are indications that some had up to three. The standard-bearer comes from a picture in Lansdell's book, his dress implying that he is probably a junior officer.

SARBAZ c.1890
By this time uniforms of a Russian cut prevailed. Though some soldiers (and artillerymen in particular) continued to resemble Figure 6, most now /26/ wore tunics of the type depicted here, with between four and six pairs of buttons and, sometimes, piped edges. Most also wore Russian fur or sheepskin caps, Russian boots, and Russian-style red chambars, though some men continued to favour the traditional embroidered yellow variety. An ammunition pouch was sometimes suspended from a strap across the right shoulder, and at other times attached to the waist-belt.

OFFICERS 1860s-1890s
Infantry officers rode horses on the march, but below the rank of pansad-bashi they fought on foot. This selection of figures gives some idea of the wide variety of dress which could be found, from variations on civilian costume up to the virtually Russian uniform, including white jacket complete with shoulder-boards, of Figure 15 (a captain, or yuz-bashi, of c.1896-99). Note the presumably gold cuff devices of Figures 13-15, denoting their ranks — apparently toksaba, pansad-bashi, and yuz-bashi respectively. Uniforms like that of Figure 13 were probably in use by c.1870 at the very latest.


1. A people ultimately descended from the Iranian-speaking Sogdians, Khorezmians, and Bactrians, though in the early mediaeval period the term Tajik was used by the Persians, Turks, and Chinese alike to describe Arabs, and was subsequently on occasion applied to all adherents to the Moslem faith. Confused 19th century travellers sometimes inaccurately called the Tajiks 'Sarts' (for whom see the section on Khiva).

2. Mostly nomads, these were found predominantly in the eastern part of the country, notably in the vicinity of Samarkand.

3. In February 1867 Muzaffar-ed-din had sent envoys to Calcutta to seek aid from the British, and later the same year 'invited the English to organise his army'. Both invitations were declined. The only Afghan contribution to the proposed coalition /27/ comprised 286 men sent by Mohammed Afzal Khan, and commanded by his kinsman Sekunder Khan. These defected to the Russians in May 1868 prior to or during the Battle of Samarkand, after quarrelling with the Amir 'on account of the irregularity with which their pay was remitted to them.' Sekunder Khan became in time a lieutenant-colonel in the Russian army.

4. Governor-General of Turkestan 1867-82. He was succeeded by Cherniaev (1882-84).

5. These were the two principal provinces of the neighbouring petty khanate of Shahr-i-Sabz, which was capable of raising a cavalry militia of about 20-25,000 men. It had been initially conquered by Bokhara early in the 18th century but had regained its independence in 1751. Amir Nasr-Ullah recovered it following 16 years of conflict (1840-56), but it regained partial independence in 1860 and full independence in 1867. During the Russian advance Jura Век had initially supported Bokhara, but after the fall of Djizzak in October 1866 took advantage of Bokharan reverses to expand his own frontiers. Following the Russian relief of Samarkand, General von Kaufmann is said to have agreed to leave Jura Век in power at Shahr-i-Sabz so long as he desisted from fighting the Russians, but eventually, in August 1870, Russian troops under General Abramof helped Amir Muzaffar-ed-din to reconquer the region. Jura Век, having fled to Khokand, was handed over to the Russians by Khudayar Khan. Consequently when von Kaufmann invaded Khokand in 1875 he found a ready helper in Jura Век, 'who knew the country and hated Khudayar Khan'.

6. His brief rebellion, centred on the town of Karshi, ended at the hands of Russian troops, sent to the Amir's assistance under the command of General Abramof. Karshi was then made over to the Amir 'as a favour'.

7. This did not prevent him falling out of favour and being condemned to death yet again. He was only saved this time because, whilst Bokhara was already at war with Khokand in 1842, it found itself suddenly attacked by Khiva, so that Amir Nasr-Ullah became needful of his deputy's advice.

8. In the first half of the 19th century Persia was looked upon with almost superstitious awe by the Central Asian khanates, which regarded it as the principal military power of the region after China. Mohan Lai, for instance, observed in 1846 that Amir Nasr-Ullah was 'extremely afraid' of the Persian army. Hence the Bokharan preference for Persian soldiers.

9. In 1880 G. Arandarenko, the Russian commandant of Samarkand, estimated that the army used up as much as 2.3 million roubles of Bokhara's total annual budget of 6 million.

10. The fact that sarbazes based in Bokhara did not reside in barracks, but in their own homes, seems to have been a continuation of pre-conquest practice.

11. For Karategin and Darwaz see chapter on the North-West Frontier in volume 5.

12. Since not all the Bokharan artillery present was captured on this occasion, it has to be supposed that there may also have been some guns in the second line of entrenchments. /28/

Message Maniac

From: Барнаул
Messages: 829

 Аrmy of Bukhara emirate 1900-1920
Sent: 12-06-2013 14:57
Пополню подборочку интересными кадрами из хроники:

Точное место съемки не известно, увы. Но я вижу двух бойцов, стоящих на часах. Один красноармеец (?) примечателен только часто встречающимся типичным среднеазиатским патронташем, зато второй...
На нем светлый китель (возможно алый?) при погонах (!), у него явно не русского образца винтовка и на голове то ли небольшая папаха, то ли феска... Уж не сарбаз ли это бухарской гвардии?!!! И не охраняют ли эти бойцы помещение, где ведутся переговоры между красными и бухарцами?

Из того же фильма, я так предполагаю, образчик эмирской артиллерии:

Это уже превьюшки фото из коллекции Российского Государственного Архива Кинофотодокументов.

Жаль, что до реальных фото не добраться, но даже на этих мелких фото можно разглядеть кое-что интересное. Например мы видим, что вероятно в бухарской армии использовались гимнастерки русского образца:

Что бухарская кавалерия, вероятно, использовала пики:

Есть ещё одно мелкое фото из журнала "Нива" - на нем можно разглядеть, что в Бухарской армии использовались башлыки:

Эх - добыть бы полноценные фото...

Registered User

From: Воронеж
Messages: 1562

 Аrmy of Bukhara emirate 1900-1920
Sent: 12-06-2013 18:01
Супер!!! Можно ссылку на кинохронику?
На первых кадрах, как я понимаю, может быть кинохроника переговоров Фрунзе с бухарскими представителями. Это где-то весна 1920 года.
У сарбаза, кстати, видны не только погоны, но и обшлага. По-моему, у него даже какой-то угол над ними нашит. Между прочим, второе фото с обшлагом, которое я вижу - первое публиковалось здесь: siberia-miniatures.ru/forum/showthread.php?fid=12&tid=66

Это бухарские повстанцы, перешедшие в Красную Армию перед вторжением большевиков в Бухару.
Кстати, "русский солдат" на кинохронике кроме патронташа имеет белую туркестанскую гимнастерку.

Что же насчет пик, то в те годы не только пики, но и даже копья использовали. Туркмены как минимум.

Message Maniac

From: Барнаул
Messages: 829

 Аrmy of Bukhara emirate 1900-1920
Sent: 12-06-2013 18:42
Кадры из зарубежного фильма "Гражданская война", смотреть эти кадры с 44.58:


Увы, ни цветного обшлага, ни "угла" у этого солдата нет.

По поводу того, что на фото из РГА КФД повстанцы - сомнительно. Чувствуется профессиональная выправка. Вот на приведенном тобой фото - повстанцы :) Хотя это только предположения.
Да и погончики у офицера не вшитые, что могло бы объяснить их наличие, а пристяжные... Опасно их носить в составе Красной армии. Пулю можно словить легко.

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From: Воронеж
Messages: 1562

 Аrmy of Bukhara emirate 1900-1920
Sent: 13-06-2013 17:43
Не могу не поделиться

Трофейные слоны бухарского эмира. 1920 год.

Есть версия, что это слоны из Индии - англичане именно на двух слонах послали эмиру пушки незадолго до августа 1920 г.

Правда, у эмира были и некоторые свои слоны, которые он покупал в Индии и Афганистане и регулярно дарил русским царям в качестве действительно "большого" подарка Первый слон был подарен еще в 1839 г. Почитать об это можно здесь:



Незадолго до 1917 года афганский эмир подарил бухарскому эмиру 6 индийских слонов для проведения церемоний. В годы революции слоны остались без ухода и погибли, уцелела лишь одна слониха по имени Джин-дау, что означает «прекрасная женщина». Во время гражданской войны она перевозила пушки. Потом жила в Бухаре, по утрам, пока ещё было достаточно прохладно, работала на благо города: корчевала деревья, трамбовала катком дороги.
В 1924 году её перевезли в Москву по железной дороге на открытой платформе. В пути была без ограды, однако вела себя спокойно, приветствовала толпы народа, принимала угощения. Лишь один раз случился инцидент — заревев, она выхватила из толпы рослого парня и забросила в кусты — оказалось, что тот уколол слониху в хобот.
Перед приездом газеты сообщили, что по городу пройдет "под усиленным конвоем военной милиции слон, подаренный Москве Бухарской республикой". 7 июля 1924 года в 3 часа ночи Джин-дау приехала в столицу и пешком отправилась в Московский зоопарк. Проводник сидел на её шее, вдоль всего маршрута стояли встречающие слониху люди. По словам проводника выяснили, что родилась Джин-дау в 1882 г.
Слониха прожила в зоопарке 12 лет и умерла в возрасте 54 лет 23.12.1936 г.


Еще один слон, по кличке Филь, видимо, так и остался в Бухаре, став гражданином советского Узбекистана, и развлекал местных жителей. О нем писал журнал "Огонек".

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From: Воронеж
Messages: 1562

 Аrmy of Bukhara emirate 1900-1920
Sent: 13-06-2013 17:56
(Ташкент, Старый город, 1914):

Интересна была стража в старом городе. На стражниках – узбеках мундиры времен Скобелева, одеты они неряшливо, часто босы. На спине ружья времен чуть ли не екатерининских. Стража эта составляла, войско эмира бухарского.

Из книги Д.С.Альперова "На арене старого цирка". М., 1936: sklyarevskiy.livejournal.com/2194284.html

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From: Воронеж
Messages: 1562

 Аrmy of Bukhara emirate 1900-1920
Sent: 10-08-2013 16:38
Печальная история народа Бухары, написанная его высочеством сайидом эмиром Алим-ханом, эмиром Бухарским

Во имя бога, всепрощающего и милостивого.
Да будет известно владеющим знаниями и обладающим проницательностью, что я, покорный слуга Божий, сайид (1) эмир Алим-хан, был правителем страны Бухара. Изложив /166/

Публикуется с небольшими сокращениями по изданию: Emir Saiol. Alim Khan. Ya voix de la Boukhaire oppvimee. Paris, 1929.
1. В мусульманском мире почетное прозвище потомков пророка Мухаммеда из ветви, восходящей к его внуку Хусейну.

на бумаге все тогдашние обстоятельства и свои приключения с детства моего до времени царствования в столице Бухары, повесть о войне, которую я вел с большевиками, о переселении в стольный Кабул и рассказав все это, я назвал изложенное «Печальная история народа Бухары», чтобы из повествования этого раба (1) правление мое в стольной Бухаре и подвластных землях, война, которую я вел с большевиками, и переселение мое в Афганистан, прояснились бы для читающих и изучающих и предстали бы пред ними в истинном свете.

Выпустив попугая красноречия в чашу повествования, начну с того, что этот раб из высокого дворца сайида эмира Абдулахада (2), полновластного государя священной Бухары, во времена высочайшего царствования на престоле великого отца моего, изучив вначале основы веры, в 1893 году по грегорианскому летоисчислению (3), в возрасте тринадцати лет по приказу и повелению его высочества шахиншаха, великого отца моего отправился в Россию вместе с несколькими достойными сотоварищами и прибыл в Петербург для получения образования и изучения государственных законов и науки управления государством. Для получения полного образования надо было учиться в школе семь лет. Однако великий отец моей пожелал ускорить обучение, и для меня установили срок в три года. Поскольку школы летом закрывались, все эти три года я приезжал в Бухару на службу к отцу. После трех лет обучения наукам государственного управления я, завершив курс, сдал экзамен.

В 1891 году по грегорианскому летоисчислению, будучи назначен престолонаследником, вернулся из Петербурга в Бухару к его высочеству высокородному великому отцу своему.

Удостоившись встречи со славнейшим государем и поцеловав руку, я стал его неразлучным спутником на два года, и в течение всего этого срока, состоя на службе, получал из его благословенных уст наставления об устройстве земель подвластной ему священной родины, что принесло мне много пользы. Высокородный великий отец, оказав милость, отдал мне в управление область Насаф в окрестностях священной Бухары и пожаловал высокое положение, и, возложив на чело государев указ, облаченный в жалованное государем платье, с позволения великого отца моего я отбыл в упомянутую область, где встретили меня знатные и избранные и простой народ упомянутой области, устроив торжественный прием. Я, пренебрегая высоким своим положением, также совершил приветствие и, войдя в цитадель области Насаф, поздравив именитых, осчастливил всех и удовлетворил. Всего этот ничтожный раб правил в области Насаф двенадцать лет.

За время правления я осчастливил и удовлетворил население упомянутой области, постоянно заботясь о подданных и странствующих, требуя от угнетателей справедливости к угнетенным, сострадая беднякам. Близ упомянутой области на реке <...> находилась переправа, на которой, видя, сколь трудно подданным переправляться на тот берег, я воздвиг за свой счет на упомянутой реке мост из камня и извести, чтобы путешественники и местные жители, избавившись от беспокойства и затруднений, были бы довольны. Весьма радел я также о строительстве медресе и храмов. После этой моей двенадцатилетней службы великий отец мой, переместив на службу в область, известную как Кермине, которая также находилась в окрестностях стольной Бухары, приблизил меня к своей монаршей милости.

От правления в области Насаф я перешел к правлению областью Кермине. Упомянутой областью управлял в течение двух лет. В это время его высочество государь сайид эмир Абдулахад-хан, великий отец мой, скончался, высвободив голову небытия из пут существования. Времени правления его высочества могучего владыки, великого отца моего было двадцать шесть лет. /167/

1. В соответствии с персидской эпистолярной традицией эмир Алим-хан именует себя то «этим рабом», то «этим ничтожным рабом«. Конечно, под этим подразумевается «раб Божий». В оригинале глагольные окончания указывают читателю, что автор имеет в виду себя. В русском переводе для уточнения приходится вставлять личные и притяжательные местоимения «я», «мое» и т. д.
2. Отец эмира Алим-хана эмир Абдулахад-хан правил с 1885 по 1911 год.
3. В оригинале часть дат приводится по хиджре, часть по грегорианскому летоисчислению. В переводе для удобства читателей все даты даны по грегорианскому летоисчислению.

10 числа месяца мухаррам 1329 года хиджры, соответствующего 1911 году грегорианского летоисчисления, я воссел на наследственный престол, на место усопшего и почившего в бозе отца моего, на трон, падишаха. Все население священной Бухары признало власть этого ничтожного раба.

После восшествия на престол этот раб, прислуживающий у божьего порога, осчастливил подданных, простив им в качестве дара годовой налог. По прошествии одного года я направил все свои усилия на наведение порядка в государственных делах и управлении подданными. Приложил чрезвычайные усилия для благоустройства государства и поддержания в нем порядка. Занялся строительством медресе и храмов. Особое значение придавал обучению всем наукам. В священной Бухаре, неподалеку от Арка (1), в месте, называемом Боло-и Хавз, на свои средства построил храм-мечеть. Около бухарского минарета на базаре выстроил на свои средства медресе-академию для обучения всем наукам, назначил учителя, а также управителя, и в определенное время доставлял одежду и жалованье для учеников, занимающихся и живущих в упомянутой академии. За три года я благоустроил государство <...> Население Бухары и провинций было мне за все это весьма признательно. Я же, раб, счастлив был тому, что делом рук своих служу своему народу.

Царствовал ничтожный раб десять лет. По прошествии десяти лет вступил в борьбу с Советской Республикой большевиков и в конце концов вынужден был переселиться в Афганистан.

Повествование о войне с большевиками

Желаю изложить на бумаге повесть о борьбе с большевиками и о своем переселении, чтобы читающие эти строки были осведомлены обо всех обстоятельствах моих приключений.

<...> В мое время Россия и Бухара заключили договор, и по этому договору Бухара сократила свое войско и вооружение, а Россия взяла на себя обязательства содержать двенадцать тысяч солдат, и как только возникнет необходимость в войске й вооружении для защиты государства, они тут же будут предоставлены Бухаре Россией. Пока правил император, Бухара не имела надобности в войске и вооружении, и все усилия и средства мы направляли на благоустройство страны.

Точно так же и после революции в России этот раб, прислуживающий у божьего порога, все усилия направлял на то, чтобы достичь благосостояния своего государства. Но по божьей воле появились в российском обществе люди безродные и личности невежественные, внесшие в Россию раздоры. Приняв твердое решение, я отдал предписание : повсюду, где бы ни появились личности, имеющие склонность к этим ни на чем не основанным законам, задерживать их. Наконец императорская власть в России была низложена, и русское общество возвысило из своей среды несколько человек, которые назвали свою власть Собранием Временного Совета, выдвинув главой республики Керенского. Это их временное государство просуществовало несколько месяцев. Глава республиканского правительства вышеупомянутый Керенский направил посланника, своего полномочного представителя по имени Преображенский, который, прибыв в стольную священную Бухару и встретившись с этим ничтожным рабом, провел переговоры, в ходе которых составлен был государственный договор, предоставлявший согласно справедливому соглашению с этим ничтожным рабом суверенитет государству Бухара, после чего посланник договор подписал и отбыл.

Получив суверенитет для Бухары, наладив с Афганистаном дружеские и доброжелательные отношения, я послал от Бухары в Афганистан министра /168/

1. А р к — резиденция правителя в Бухаре.

Тураходжу и Муллокутбиддина. Также послал в это время Ходжу Сафарбия своим представителем в английскую комиссию в Мешхед. Упомянутая комиссия также дала благоприятный ответ. Затем я объявил большевикам, что они должны покинуть Бухару. Вдобавок к этому я послал Мирзо Салимбека парвоначи (1) и Абдурауфа корвонбаши (2), чтобы провести английские войска, в Чарджоу. Но по прибытии их в Чарджоу, оказалось, что английские войска передислоцировались.

Тогда же Афганистан с Британией начали военные действия, и полномочный представитель афганской стороны генерал Мухаммад Вали-хан прибыл в священную Бухару, намереваясь встретиться с нашей монаршей особой, привез от его высочества эмира Афганистана многие подарки и вручил их этому ничтожному рабу, встретившемуся с посланником. Во время беседы он спросил этого ничтожного раба о личных моих целях. В ответ я сказал:

— Полагаю, что лучше всего было бы начать войну с большевиками, поскольку момент сейчас кажется в высшей степени благоприятным для поражения противника. Необходимо использовать время и удобный случай.
Посланник, будучи человеком дальновидным и приверженным исламскому государству, ответил мне следующим образом:
— Вы с правителем Афганистана — братья. Один из вас, вступив в единоборство с Британией, начал войну. Вы же, со своей стороны, подобное предприняли с государством большевиков. Да сохранит бог от того, чтобы действия ваши <...> не стали бы причиной крушения двух государств исламского мира, а посему не проявляйте поспешности, пока не выяснится, как окончится предприятие вашего брата. И лишь затем лучше всего было бы обсудить друг с другом целесообразность дальнейших действий.

Поскольку слова этого посланника были в высшей степени справедливыми, я счел за благо последовать сказанному и, храня в памяти этот совет, не единожды брал себе в помощники терпение и выдержку.

Мухаммад Вали-хан из Бухары направился в Россию. Его высочество эмир Афганистана в целях укрепления дружеских связей послал ко мне кадрового полковника Фазлах-мад-хана с двумя сотнями солдат, оркестром, семью пушками, семью слонами. Тогда этот ничтожный раб с целью сохранения государственности решил послать к главе Временного правительства Керенского своего доверенного человека, сделав его полномочным послом, чтобы возобновить и подписать договор. Но в скором времени в вышеупомянутом государстве произошла революция и общество разделилось на две части. Одна — меньшевики, другая — большевики. Они начали взаимную борьбу. Вследствие этого затеялась чрезвычайная рознь и распря, и наконец Российским государством завладели большевики, а все высшие слои русского общества бежали в поисках спасения, рассеявшись по всем странам. Законы большевиков ни узнать, ни понять невозможно, поскольку все их усилия и стремления направлены на разрушение власти и порчу государства, на уничтожение людей и храмов, и всюду, где они видят человека почитаемого и имеющего власть из любого сословия, грабят его и разоряют, и его убийство почитают для себя необходимым. Обещаниям и заверениям их тоже не следует доверять.

В то время этот ничтожный раб прилагал все возможные усилия для поддержания государственного порядка в Бухаре. Большевики, действуя по своим законам без основ и следуя бесполезному учению и безнравственному, как у проституток, образу действий, принесли вскоре заразу этого образа действий в священную Бухару, где. пытаясь следовать ему, собралось около 117 человек, личностей ничтожных, людишек без знаний, объединились в союз с простолюдинами из самаркандцев и ташкентцев и создали общество, и двое из того общества, Файзулла Ходжаев и Мирзомухиддин Мансуров, обнаружив свои цели, вознамерились оказать поддержку подстрекателям большевиков. От большевиков явился на помощь к джадидским подстрекателям Колесов, который, прибыв по железной'дороге в Каган, близ Бухары, в начале марта 1918 года в субботу и объявив войну, начал военные действия против бухарского государства.

Несмотря на нехватку вооружения и военного снаряжения, благодаря божьей /169/

1. Придворный чин из числа высших. (Значение всех званий, титулов, терминов и пр. здесь и далее приводится по кн. Таджикско-русский словарь по истории. Составители А. М. Мухтаров и А. А. Егани. Издание второе, дополненное.- Душанбе: Дониш. 1986.)
2. Старшина, начальник каравана.

поддержке и пророческой помощи шариата, счастье оказалось на стороне мусульман Бухары, и этот раб одержал победу.

Большевики, не достигнув своей цели, дали согласие на мир. Этот раб, постоянно помня о благе мира, заключил перемирие. После этой войны в Бухару от Ленина и Троцкого прибыли председатель большевиков Элиава и полномочный посол Бройдо и вступили в переговоры с этим ничтожным рабом, дав согласие на суверенитет Бухары, обещав вооружение и военное снаряжение. <...> Назначенный послом Советского государства в Бухару Аксельрод в целях укрепления союза против Афганистана, прислал мне в подарок из Ташкента одиннадцать пушек без снарядов. По этим пушкам без снарядов я мог судить об отношении большевиков к Бухаре. Этот ничтожный раб, не видя от большевиков и их посла отношения, соответствующего договору, решился на смелое предприятие — задумал направить все силы и средства на то, чтобы привести в боевую готовность войска и вооружение.

Собрав за два года некоторое количество войска и вооружение, привел их в боевую готовность. Как только большевики осуществили свои декреты, приведя страну в смятение, со всех сторон подняли головы смутьяны, затеяв распри и розни и обессилив большевиков. Власть большевиков довела до разрухи российские железные дороги, проложенные в старые времена и ведущие в разные страны, и этот ничтожный раб был уверен, что большевики <...> непременно будут мстить Бухаре. В это время, приведя в движение свои войска, я решил начать военные действия.

Правительство Хорезма, заключив со мной договор, перейдя под мое управление, возымело желание вместе вести войну с большевиками. Но возможно, большевистская власть, с трудом обратившись к прогрессу все-таки образумится? В надежде на это ничтожный раб со своей стороны направил к Ленину и Троцкому для установления отношений посольство из нескольких человек. Я намеревался возобновить и подписать договор. Но неумение держать слово и безответственность большевиков я знал хорошо, если бы я заключил договор с подобной, ни на чем не основанной, незаконной, не выполняющей своих обязательств властью, то это означало бы опозорить Бухару перед иностранными державами. Хорошо зная об этом по собственному опыту, я решительно безо всяких намерений и безо всякой цели направил в Москву к Ленину и Троцкому пятерых послов — генерала Махди-хана, Ходжиджурабека туксабо (1), Гайбуллу Ходжи, Мирзонаврузбая и еще одного человека с поздравлениями и для установления отношений.

Поскольку было видно, что Бухара в скором времени укрепится и придет в порядок и стремится она прежде всего к вероисповеданию ислама, что с Афганистаном завязываются тесные отношения, у большевиков возникли зависть и опасения, что если Бухара таким образом будет постепенно крепчать, то их республиканское государство будет тем самым раздроблено и столкнется с немалыми заботами и трудностями.

День за днем отношение большевиков к Бухаре становилось все более жестким, и они, осуществляя свои незаконные намерения, постоянно стремились начать войну. Однажды подданные Бухары были схвачены на дорогах и брошены в тюрьму. Наконец противники исламского государства собрали множество солдат и вооружения, желая напасть на священную Бухару. Этот ничтожный раб, подготовив свои войска, собрал их вокруг железнодорожной станции священной Бухары — Кагана, вооружив и приведя в боевую готовность. Люди из рода большевиков (2), льстя и угодничая, нарушив дружеские связи, облачившись в одежды вероломства и обмана, прислали из Ташкента для перемирия человека по имени Баранов, полномочного представителя министра иностранных дел. Посланник с особыми полномочиями, прибыв к этому ничтожному рабу, просил разрешения на переговоры и заключение соглашения, убеждая: «Поскольку Российское государство на протяжении 55 лет поддерживало с Бухарой дружеские и добрососедские отношения и до настоящего времени мы от Бухары видели лишь обоюдную выгоду и никакого ущерба одно государство другому не наносило. Желая, чтоб и в дальнейшем меж государствами проявлялись лишь дружество и доброжелательность, просим от вас /170/

1. 1) Начальник воинского подразделения, имевшего свое знамя, 2) подполковник, иногда занимал должность полковника.
2. В тексте сказано «кавми балшувик». Кавм — семейно-родовая группа. Любопытно, что для обозначения политических отношений эмир применил лексику из патриархального общинного быта.

помощи и поддержки. Наша республика готова оказать любую услугу, какая вам только потребуется. Однако рассчитываем на то, что вы отведете свои войска от станции нашей железной дороги, чтобы мы могли возвести укрепления на своей станции. Солдаты наши люди дикие и невежественные. Может случиться так, что при виде ваших солдат они затеют распрю, и не хотелось бы, чтобы это опорочило нас в глазах вашего высочества. Все, что вы желаете, и все, что вас удовлетворит; мы тут же исполним».

Подписав в ходе этих переговоров договор, посланник отбыл. Тех нескольких человек из числа наших подданных, схваченных на дорогах и задержанных, <...> отослали обратно.

Этот ничтожный раб, отведя свои войска от вышеупомянутой станции на расстояние трех миль от железнодорожного полотна, возвел оборонительные сооружения. На вышеупомянутой станции оставил около сорока караульных, предназначенных исключительно для того, чтобы защитить проезжающих и подданных местных жителей от возможного притеснения. Противник же, посредством этой хитрости усыпив мою бдительность, без объявления войны, без предупреждения, словно разбойник, в понедельник 29 августа 1929 года в полночь напал на караульных, выставленных в окрестностях линии железной дороги на всех направлениях, и около пятнадцати человек из них взял в плен. В это время напав на бухарское войско, начали военные действия. В два часа после полуночи начали военные действия, проведя артиллерийский обстрел и оружейную стрельбу, пригнав множество войска и вооружения, бронепоезд и бронированные автомобили. Одиннадцать аэропланов, поднявшись в воздух, забросали Бухару бомбами.

Этот ничтожный раб, будучи вынужден выдвинуть вперед свои войска, вручив свою судьбу божественному провидению, вел бои на протяжении четырех суток. Во время военных действий противник нанес городу большой урон артиллерийским и пулеметным огнем, запалив почти половину Бухары. Несчастные мусульмане, плачущие и испуганные, бросив на произвол врага скарб и имущество, жен и детей, ошеломленные, разбежались во все стороны. Несмотря на это ничтожный раб четверо суток вел бои и сражения с противником. Великий урон и разрушения, вызванные артиллерийским обстрелом и бомбежкой, страх и ужас, обуявшие несчастное население города, навели меня на мысль: если этот ничтожный раб изволит покинуть священную Бухару, то несчастные подданные, имущие и неимущие, избавятся от ужаса и тревоги. В среду, на четвертый день после начала событий, подобно святому посланнику Аллаха, да будет он благословен, на фаэтоне я изволил начать свое переселение, отбыв из шахского сада Ситора-и Мохи Хоса, направляясь в сторону уезда <...> Гиждуван.

В это время моими спутниками были Абдулшукур-хан, афганский посланник, и кадровый полковник Мухаммад Аслан-хан, егермейстер, афганский военный судья, ташкентский посланник, двадцать четыре бухарских чиновника, бухарские и афганские солдаты. Добравшись до уезда Гиждуван, мы остановились на ночлег.

Услышав о моем переселении, подданные, имущие и неимущие, с женами и детьми, плача и стеная, бросились вслед. Вечером упомянутой пятницы достигли моей резиденции в Гиждуване. Более чем десять тысяч человек с плачем и восклицаниями, не в силах пережить день разлуки, бились оземь. Некоторые от скорби и печали вручали душу Аллаху. Этот ничтожный раб, подбодрив этих опечаленных и несчастных, дав им наставление, утешил их и прочитал молитву за этих несчастных, помолившись и о себе и о тех несчастных подданных, имущих и неимущих, оставив их отчаиваться и ждать, изволил отбыть в Восточную Бухару.

Прибыв через 8 дней в подчиненную Бухаре область Курган-Тюбе, остановился там на десять дней. Во время переправы из Гиждувана внезапно появившиеся броневики преградили нам, несчастным, путь. На этом месте были схвачены несколько высокопоставленных лиц из моего окружения, такие как Усмон кушбеги (1), главный судья Бурхон-иддин, раис (2) Абдурауф корвонбоши, Юсуфбий, Мукимбий. Чтобы закрыть путь врагу, укрепившись и собрав много войска и населения из крепости местности Дарбанд. подвластной области Байсун. я начал военные действия против врага, и, отступив из упомянутой области, остановился в области Гиссар в Восточной Бухаре. /171/

1. Кушбеги — (буквально — главный ловчий) начальник ставки ханских войск; лицо, носившее это звание, было главой исполнительной власти, премьер-министром, в руках которого находилась вся исполнительная власть в стране.
2. Либо глава, начальник, либо цензор нравов, должностное духовное лицо.

Шесть месяцев я вел из области Гиссар бои и сражения с большевиками. Возглавлял военные действия военный министр, мой дядя с материнской стороны Мухаммадсаид-бек парвоначи, а также назначенные вести сражения Абдулхафиз парвоначи и кадровый военачальник Ибрагим-бек. На протяжении этих шести месяцев шли бои и сражения. Наконец, большевики вынуждены были привезти из Москвы множество войска и вооружения и разом напасть на воинство ислама. Поскольку вооружения и боеприпасов у солдат ислама было мало, после десяти дней боев и сражений ничтожный раб в поисках поддержки и помощи от иностранных государств отбыл из области Гиссар в область Куляб, и в упомянутой области Мулла Мухаммад Ибрагим-бек девонбеги и Давлатманд-бек девонбеги сарлашкар (1), происходивший из узбекской общины Восточной Бухары, весьма достойно служили Бухаре и проявляли беззаветную самоотверженность, доставляя удовлетворение этому ничтожному рабу. Призвав к себе вышеупомянутых военачальников, я дал им задание, упомянув, что этот ничтожный раб, отправившись в стольный Кабул, будет хлопотать о помощи и поддержке: «Если оттуда поступит для меня помощь и поддержка, то до моего возвращения вы с главными силами сдерживайте врага, сберегая свои войска. Нападения противника усиливаются. Если крепости не будут сохранены, это причинит беспокойство нашим подданным, имущим и неимущим. До возвращения моего бедняки и несчастные да будут обеспечены».

Отдав эти приказы, я отослал их в свои места. Мухаммад Ибрагим-бек и Давлат-манд-бек, подчиняясь вышеприведенному моему указанию, укрепили крепости на путях противника, сам же этот ничтожный раб, переправившись на переправе Даркад через реку Аму в области Куляб <...> достиг афганского берега. Кадровый полковник пограничных войск Афганистана, построив своих солдат, вышел вперед с торжественной встречей и приветствием; здесь <...> все приготовили для того, чтобы я, отдохнув, смог бы прибыть в Русток. <...> Мухаммад Алам-хан. вышеописанный полковник, выставил вперед для торжественной встречи около трехсот своих солдат, и, приветствуемый одиннадцатью пушками, я с почестями вступил в Русток. Проведя там две ночи, я послал правителю Катагана известие о том, что буду проходить по его владениям. В субботу <...> я отбыл из Рустока в Катаган; сын наместника с некоторым числом уважаемых людей той области вышел навстречу для торжественной встречи, встретившись с этим ничтожным рабом в пути, и вместе мы двинулись в столицу.

Мухаммад Акбар-хан, вышеупомянутый наместник, и Бинбин-хан, заместитель командующего войсками, с пушками и музыкой вышли вперед почти на фарсах (2), устроив торжественную встречу и приветствие двенадцатью пушками, и встретившись со мной, <...> вступив в столицу Катагана, избрали местом моего пристанища шахский сад Хает ул-абад.

Пребывал там в течение тридцати пяти дней. В это время от его высочества эмира Аманулла-хана. афганского эмира (к которому я послал с просьбой о гостеприимстве Мухаммад Аслам-хана, миршикора (3), долгое время состоявшего на службе этого ничтожного раба и бывшего человеком сведующим), поступило сообщение: меня приглашали в Кабул, к его высочеству, чтобы встретившись вместе, соединить усилия в борьбе против врага.

Еще тогда, когда этот ничтожный раб переправлялся через реку Аму на афганскую сторону, меня сопровождали около трехсот человек из наиболее уважаемых бухарских наукаров, а кроме того на каждой переправе упомянутой реки к нам присоединялись люди, чтобы стать моими сторонниками, и собралось их возле меня приблизительно сто тысяч человек. Из этого общества, взяв с собой приблизительно пятьсот человек из числа бухарской знати, я послал других во все места афганских владений, сам же с вышеупомянутыми пятьюстами людьми отбыл в стольный Кабул.

Проведя несколько дней в пути <...> я прибыл в Кабул, где для пребывания ничтожного раба приготовили шахский сад Кала-и Муродбек.
Десять человек министров и высших военачальников его высочества эмира Афганистана прибыли в упомянутый сад с торжественной встречей, затем этого ничтожного раба встретил его высочество эмир Афганистана с несколькими уважаемыми лицами, и я /172/

1. Сарлашкар - 1) дивизионный генерал; 2) военачальник.
2. Мера длины, около 6 километров.
3. Миршикор — начальник ханской охоты.

удостоился дружеского общения. В течение целого месяца Афганистан оказывал мне гостеприимство, а по прошествии месяца определили на мои траты и расходы ежемесячную сумму и двенадцать тысяч кабульских рупий. Этот ничтожный раб прилагал все усилия и рвение, стараясь устроить свое дело. Но по воле Аллаха, в соответствии с судьбой и долей усилия оставались тщетными, помощи и поддержки не было видно. А посему, смирившись с волей Божьей, я занялся тем, чтобы обосноваться в Кабуле. Как только я выразил пожелание обосноваться здесь, его высочество афганский эмир, преподнеся мне в дар шахский сад под названием Фату в южной части Кабула, изволил добавить к двенадцати тысячам рупий, что были определены мне ежемесячно на расходы, еще четыре тысячи пятьсот рупий.

Как только я перешел из бухарских в афганские земли, большевики двинулись вперед, начав сражение с Мухаммад Ибрагим-беком девонбеги, и через несколько дней войска упомянутого военачальника из-за недостатка боеприпасов и постоянных нападений врага, рассеявшись во все стороны, скрылись высоко в горах. Враг же, войдя в раж, принялся повсюду хватать население, доведя насилие и притеснение до крайнего предела.

Военачальник Мулла Ибрагим-бек девонбеги, собрав свои вышеупомянутые войска, совершая одно за другим нападения на каждое селение, где находил пристанище враг, постепенно собрал множество оружия и боеприпасов, принеся благо подданным и угнетенным, и в скором времени, собрав около десяти тысяч человек, двинулся на провинции Куляб и Бальджуан, освободив эти две области из рук врага и написав этому ничтожному рабу об обстановке и своем положении, и послал сообщение в Кабул с несколькими своими военачальниками. Вышеупомянутые, прибыв ко мне, донесли об обстановке, положении и службе описанного Мулла Ибрагим-бека.

В это время Ибрагим-бек девонбеги двинулся на области Каратегин и Дарваз и, атаковав, овладел также и этими двумя областями, и об этих обстоятельствах послал мне сообщение. Я был весьма удовлетворен этим примером и мужеством Ибрагим-бека. Пожаловав упомянутому Ибрагим-беку высокую должность, отдал приказ продолжать военные действия.

Упомянутый Ибрагим-бек на протяжении семи лет вел войну с большевиками за народ ислама и за дело этого ничтожного раба, и во время войны о всех проявлениях мужества и о том, как идут бои, непременно сообщал мне.

Как только упомянутый Мулла Ибрагим-бек получил в руки мои указы, собрав войска свои, пошел на область Гиссар, выдвинув авангард, вступил в жаркие бои и сражения, взял в трофеи вооружение и казну и, осадив цитадель области Гиссар, осведомил о своем положении этого ничтожного раба, сообщив о моджахедах — борцах за веру ему служащих, и этот ничтожный раб издал приказ, скрепленный печатью и подписью, о награждении моджахедов, борцов за ислам, высокими должностями. Всякий раз я получал сведения о происходящем, посылая из Кабула с расспросами о положении дел одного-двух человек, которые, прибыв на место и расспросив обо всем, возвращались обратно. Упомянутый Ибрагим-бек без моего позволения никаких действий не предпринимал.

В то время, когда была осаждена область Гиссар, в область Курган-Тюбе к солдатам, моджахедам прибыл Энвер-паша, турок с двадцатью семью турецкими спутниками, намереваясь из Бухары перейти в Восточную Бухару1. Солдаты донесли вышеописанному Мулла Ибрагиму об обстоятельствах появления Энвер-паши. Вышеописанный военачальник изложил суть дела этому рабу, отложив решение до получения моего одобрения, описав мне обстоятельства того, как изволил прибыть зять халифа всех мусульман2. Получив это известие, я послал приказ, где говорилось о том, что Энвер-паша — чрезвычайно сведущ и опытен в сражениях, и предписывал Ибрагим-беку, призвав его к себе, спросить: «Если вы желаете служить исламским народам, то служите под началом нашего государя, в ином же случае извольте следовать далее».

Исполняя приказ этого раба, Мулла Мухаммад Ибрагим-бек собрал солдат, моджахедов, устроив торжественную встречу Энвер-паше и пригласив его к себе, осведомился о его личных намерениях. Энвер-паша, желая служить народам ислама вместе с упомяну/173/

1. Восточной Бухарой в бухарском эмирате назывались области, находящиеся на территории современного южного Таджикистана.
2. Энвер в 1914 году женился на Эмине Наджие Султан, племяннице царствующего турецкого султана, что позволило ему именовать себя «зятем халифа всех мусульман».

тым Ибрагим-беком, обязался числиться на службе, а вышеописанный Мулла Ибрагим-бек, предприняв наступление на область Гиссар, добился успеха, и взяв в упомянутой области немалую казну и множество военного имущества в трофеи и сделав упомянутую область своим центром, двинулся на области Дехнав, Байсун, Хузор, Шерабад, Карши, извещая этого ничтожного раба о положении своих дел. Я со своей стороны приказал пожаловать указанному Ибрагим-беку священный Коран и почетный форменный халат, шитый золотом. Как только молва о военных действиях Ибрагим-бека достигла окрестностей города Бухары и туманов (1) Бухарского государства, население окрестностей города Бухары и туманов Гиждуван, Пирмаст, Вабкент, Ходжаориф, Худфар, Гонза, Каракуль — почти пятнадцать тысяч человек собрались и, составив грамоту, изъявляющую самоотверженность и верноподданность этому ничтожному рабу, послали Ибрагим-беку. Мулла Ибрагим-бек, послав грамоту мне, просил взять их под начало, и поэтому я, следуя пожеланиям моих подданных, повелел вверить управление подданными, бухарскими воителями, готовым умереть за веру, Муллоабдулкаххару, одному из наиболее уважаемых моих спутников, а из самих упомянутых общин назначить для управления по нескольку человек от каждой общины, и издал приказ о том, что указанный Муллоабдулкаххар, следуя моему повелению, должен прибыть в Восточную Бухару к упомянутому Ибрагим-беку и встретившись с ним, проследовать в Бухару, и, прибыв к подданным, бухарским воителям, готовым умереть за веру, расспросить их от моего имени о положении дел в тахмошних общинах. Затем, приведя их в боевую готовность, начать против большевиков военные действия, жертвуя собой ради отечества. То, как вели бои и сражения воители священной Бухары, готовые умереть за веру, я расскажу, коли будет на то воля Аллаха, несколько позже.

Поскольку Эквер-паша в течение года с преданностью и самоотречением служил вере в Восточной Бухаре близ Ибрагим-бека, то он за это время, овладев несколькими областями Восточной Бухары, освободил Бухару из рук врага.

Затем Ибрагим-бек, действовавший в союзе с жителями Восточной Бухары, по требованию этого ничтожного раба изложил все обстоятельства событий для его высочества эмира Афганистана и послал с сообщением в столицу Кабул восемь человек своих соратников. Указанные посланники, прибыв в Кабул, в беседе с афганским эмиром сообщили ему о положении дел.

Энвер-паша высказал следующее пожелание: «Ныне укрепления на путях движения врага в Восточной Бухаре не соответствуют необходимым требованиям. Поскольку против нас действует противник из одного из наиболее сильных на земле государств, для успеха дела мы должны включиться в сражение с ним сообща. Если будет на то воля Аллаха, как только победим в области Байсун, взяв ее в свое владение и укрепив границу с местностью Дарбанд, сразу же установим свою власть».

Вслед за тем посланцы Восточной Бухары стали собираться к себе обратно; его высочество эмир Афганистана, каждого из них осчастливив своим сочувствием и расположением, дал разрешение удалиться, с чем упомянутые посланники и вернулись в свои места.

После этих событий 4 августа 1922 года в сражении в Бальджуане погиб за веру Энвер-паша. Энвер-паша сподобился стать шахидом, воином-мучеником, погибшим за веру, ко дню праздника Курбан. Его тело погребено в местности Чакан, в месте паломничества к святому Султану; а через некоторое время <...> Ибрагим-бек, приведя в боевую готовность моджахедов Восточной Бухары, собрал их, чтобы идти на область Байсун.

В это время большевики, собрав своих солдат в Даркаде на берегу реки Аму, провели переговоры о границе с Афганистаном и положение их несколько укрепилось. Ибрагим-бек, услышав о том, воздержался от передвижения в верховья Байсука, двинув туда несколько сподвижников с половиной своего войска, сам же Ибрагим-бек, взяв с собой пятнацать тысяч солдат, подошел к границе Афганистана, чтобы оказать помощь афганскому государству, и встав за горным хребтом, ожидал в течение сорока дней, в те дни славный Давлатманд-бек также сподобился смерти за веру. /174/

1. Т у м а н - административно-территориальная единица в Бухарском ханстве; местность орошаемые земли которой измерялись в сто тысяч манабов (мапаб приблизительно равен четверти гектара).

Об этих событиях народ Восточной Бухары узнал от врага. Большевики в течение некоторого времени прилагали усилия, намереваясь собрать солдат, затем, в 1925 году по грегорианскому летоисчислению, разом напали на Ибрагим-бека, полководца Восточной Бухары; двадцать пять дней вели они бои и сражения, проводя дни в битвах, а ночи — в ночных атаках. Во время сражений вышеописанный Мулла Ибрагим-бек, одержав победу, взял в трофеи несколько пушек и пулеметов, тысячу восемьсот пятизарядных винтовок, триста тысяч патронов для них, два боевых бронеавтомобиля, два аэроплана, а из сбитых в воздухе аэропланов — несколько пистолетов маузер, известив этого ничтожного раба о вышеперечисленных событиях.

Большевики, не достигнув цели, отступили. Вышеупомянутый Ибрагим-бек также сосредоточил усилия на укреплении страны и приведении войск в боевую готовность. После этого отношения между Афганистаном и большевиками смягчились, было заключено соглашение. Получив это известие, Ибрагим-бек вознамерился отступить в свои места. Большевики, узнав о том, атаковали Мулла Ибрагим-бека с нескольких сторон с двадцатью пятью тысячами солдат и, начав военные действия, на протяжении пяти суток вели бои и сражения. С обеих сторон было убито множество народа.

Поскольку атаки врага усиливались, войско моджахедов начало рассеиваться в разные стороны,, сам же Ибрагим-бек с тремястами соратниками остался в окружении противника, ведя жестокие схватки. Наконец указанный Ибрагим-бек, бросившись верхом на коне в реку Аму, переправился на афганскую сторону. Подробности о военных действиях и своей переправе через реку сообщил этому ничтожному рабу. Власти Афганистана, услышав о прибытии вышеупомянутого Ибрагим-бека в стольный Кабул, устроили в его честь трехдневный прием, определив для него танхо1 и жилые покои. Ибрагим-бек, не желая ни лена, ни жилых покоев, просил у властей Афганистана: «Я — один из служителей падишаха Бухары, жертвенно ему преданных. Единственно, чего желал бы, это отправиться к своему благодетелю и остаток дней моих провести у его порога».

Вследствие сего Ибрагим-бека направили ко мне, чтобы он, встретившись со мной, остался бы на жительство. На его расходы афганские власти определили ежемесячное жалованье в пятьсот пятьдесят кабульских рупий.

Сражения Муллоабдулкаххара в окрестностях Бухары в течение трех лет

Как только Муллоабдулкаххар по повелению этого раба прибыл из Кабула к моджахедам, воителям, жертвующим собой за веру, в окрестностях Бухары и в туманах Бухары, стараясь привести войска в боевую готовность, ведя сражения в тумане Гиждуван, и туман Гиждуван освободив из рук врага и взяв в свое владение. <...>

Отовсюду <...> собралось к нему свыше двадцати пяти тысяч человек. <...> Вступив в ожесточенные схватки, они в течение одного месяца захватили у большевиков в качестве трофеев две тысячи пятизарядных винтовок, сто тысяч патронов к ним, десять пулеметов, три боевых бронеавтомобиля и, взяв в свои руки туман, направились в область Нурата. Несколько тамошних высокопоставленных лиц вышли навстречу войску, чтобы узнать подробности о действиях войска моджахедов, сами же подданные вместе с войском, вступив в область Нурата, взяли в плен городских большевиков. Местное население было счастливо, читая молитвы во здравие этого ничтожного раба. Муллоабдулкаххар, взяв у большевиков в трофеи множество военного снаряжения, сделал область Нурата своим центром, и поддержки ради оттуда совершил поход на Бухару, дойдя до моста Мехтар Касим. В это время Абдулхамид-эфенди, военный министр джадидского правительства Бухары, с шестьюдесятью отлично вооруженными людьми из Бухары, а также прибывшими из Турции и Индии, вышел навстречу и, встретивши Муллоабдулкаххара, подарил ему шесть тысяч английских денег и два пулемета и, получив от Муллоабдулкаххара разрешение, они направились в сторону Восточной Бухары и, прибыв к Энвер-паше и Ибрагим-беку девонбеги, просили зачислить их на службу.

Об этих событиях Энвер-паша сообщил этому рабу. Большевики, услышав о прибытии Муллоабдулкаххара к мосту Мехтар Касим, собрав войско, вышли навстречу. /175/

1. Лен: вода и земля, пожалованные эмиром за особые заслуги.

начали бои и вели сражение двое суток. Муллоабдулкаххар одержал победу, большевики отступили. Муллоабдулкаххар, осадив город Бухару, взял шесть ворот Бухары. Большевики были вынуждены освободить город, отойдя на железнодорожную станцию Каган. Муллоабдулкаххар, войдя в город и простояв в нем четыре часа, двинулся из городских пределов в сторону святилища Баховаддин и после десятичасового сражения также освободил это место из рук большевиков.

Взяв в Бухаре и Баховаддине большие трофеи, послал мне сообщение о происшедшем; когда все выяснилось, я был весьма удовлетворен службой упомянутого Муллоаб-дулкаххара. Послал в дар вышеуказанному шитый золотом форменный халат и пистолет маузер «V».

В эти дни большевики, придя в беспокойство, прилагали усилия, чтобы собрать войско. Привезя из Москвы и Ташкента множество солдат, напали со всех сторон на вышеупомянутого Муллоабдулкаххара, отняв у моджахедов город Бухару и Баховаддин; почти тысяча моджахедов попала в плен к большевикам. Много усилий большевики приложили, чтобы схватить Муллоабдулкаххара, день и ночь бились, не выпуская из рук оружия. День ото дня усиливались атаки врага, большевики истратили много средств на; борьбу с войсками моджахедов, и, подняв революцию, в течение двадцати пяти дней убили и сделали мучениками за веру двух братьев Муллоабдулкаххара, приведя в волнение подданных, имущих и неимущих, совершив многочисленные разрушения.

По этой причине из-за бедствий населения Муллоабдулкаххар удалился в Казахстан, где укрылся в степи, чтобы не служить причиной беспокойства и волнений подданных.

Большевики привели в туманы множество солдат, чтобы в случае, если воинство восстанет на защиту законной власти, оно не могло бы действовать.
Этот раб рассказал обо всем, начиная от времени, когда был наследником, от времени монархии, когда правил в священной Бухаре и областях, и кончая войной, ' которую вел с большевиками во время революции, после чего, решившись на переселение, перебрался в стольный Кабул. Население Бухары и жители тех мест семь лет бились на моей стороне с большевиками. Я же перенес повествование на бумагу, чтобы всякий, кто желает узнать историю моих приключений, был бы просвещен.

Жажду молитвы за меня от всякого, кто это прочтет,
Ибо я — грешный раб.

Перевод с фарси Владимира МЕДВЕДЕВА.

В.Медведев. Нечаянная революция. // Дружба народов. №1, 1992. С.166-176.

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From: Воронеж
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 Аrmy of Bukhara emirate 1900-1920
Sent: 07-03-2014 03:58
Фотографии Поля Надара в Бухаре. 1890.

Сеид-Абдул-Ахад-хан, эмир Бухары

From: foto-history.livejournal.com/4965489.html?view=89630577#t89630577

Registered User

From: Воронеж
Messages: 1562

 Аrmy of Bukhara emirate 1900-1920
Sent: 18-08-2014 00:53
Из воспоминаний полковника Литвинова: www.white-guard.ru/go.php?n=54&id=1288

Но тем не менее, конспиративная подготовка к самозащите у Эмира была. Он приютил значительное количество белых офицеров по захолустным бековским городам. А в г. Яккабаге отливались даже пушки, близко находившиеся с современными образцами, был устроен патронный и снарядный завод. А один военнопленный австриец выделывал даже и дистанционные трубки (правда, каждая на определенную дистанцию).
Поэтому подготовка к приятию белого направления по всей территории ханства, несомненно, существовала и была принята благоприятно в толще населения. О резне белых не могло быть и речи. Спрашивали лишь, кто ты «бальшивой» или «меньшивой».

...Кроме того, сам Молессон (в сопровождении моего агента!) провез из Асхабада в Байрам-Али 2 вагона патронов и сдал их важному бухарцу (мой агент называл его даже, по незнанию, эмиром), который, по соглашению, англичан с большевиками (те англичан тогда не хотели раздражать) и провез их в Бухару.

Фото: bagira.guru/rodina/1989-11/buharskaya-revolyutsiya.html

Бухарская миссия в Москве у здания Народного Комиссариата по иностранным делам. 1920.

Фото: russiainphoto.ru/photos/145620/

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