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"Ataman" Annenkov

In many ways Annenkov was a typical adventurer of the Civil War period.

Relying on charisma and a fair amount of bluster, he set up a private army and gave himself the grand name of "Ataman". He found operating on the borderlands more to his liking as the main theatres became more conventional – in his case central Asia. He was ruthless with his own men and even more so with opponents, and did little to prevent atrocities.

Annenkov ran a disciplined force, capable of defeating the Red Army (unlike the Mad Baron) in more or less conventional warfare (unlike Makhno) over a period of many years (unlike Grigoriev). He didn't have separatist tendencies (unlike Shkuro) which meant he stayed in political favour. His only wargaming flaw, as with Bulak-Balachovich, is that he has had no-one prepared to write books about him in the west European languages.

Annenkov's Personal Uniforms

Annenkov plainly loved to dress up, and photos show him looking immaculate. He is normally seen in the uniform of the Black Hussars, as here, but varieties based on the Life Ataman regiment are also seen at

The dressing up appears to also have extended to his close staff. Photos show Partisan Division officers uniforms that do not correspond directly to any unit and it may well be that they were never intended to. We suspect it is fruitless to try and reconcile all the various versions.

A famous photo shows the Black Hussars with a St George flag behind them. It would follow Tsarist practice if that was Annenkov's personal banner, as commander of the Detached Semirechensk Army, from late 1919.