For some reason the story of Baron Ungern-Sternberg has become very well known in English. Yet the story of Stanislav Bulak-Balakhovich – who was the mad Baron's match as an adventurer, and a much more capable soldier to boot – is almost unknown outside his stomping grounds of Estonia, Poland and Belorussia.
Over the years I have assembled various pieces of information on the man, trying to piece together as much hard military data as I can. Sadly most of what I have found is in Polish or Russian, and therefore largely inaccessible to me, but I hope that it is enough his story to become better known in the English-speaking world.
The most accessible introduction in English to this remarkable man is an article by Richard Spence first published in the journal Revolutionary Russia. I have been fortunate that he – and his publishers Taylor and Francis Ltd – have very kindly allowed me to republish his article on Pygmy Wars.
(Keen students of the RCW should make an attempt to track down local copies of Revolutionary Russia – it has some marvelous articles. The website for Taylor and Francis is tandfonline.com/.)
The first half of his career was spent fighting with the Estonians and White Russians on the border of Russia and Estonia. To see some of how he fits in with the other Whites, there is a set of Orders of Battle in the Orbats section of the site for the Whites in northwest Russia..
While the article Useful Brigand covers Bulak-Balakhovich's escapades well, it ony deals with his largest venture in only a couple of lines. I therefore hunted down some more information on the NDA's brief attack on Soviet Russia and wrote it up into a short article, so at least the outline of the campaign can be followed.
While doing this I found a couple of sources that gave hard numbers for the NDA army just before the Belorussian campaign.
Marek Cabanowski Generał Stanisław Bułak-Bałachowicz: Zapomniany Bohater 1993, Warsaw
A full length book about the man in Polish.
Richard B Spence Boris Savinkov: Renegade on the Left 1991, East European Monographs, Boulder
A book about Balakhovich's conspirator in the NDA. Worth reading for the other parts of Savinkov's amazing career in the RCW as well. He mixed with everyone from Lenin to Sidney Reilly.
Richard B Spence Useful brigand: 'Ataman' SN Bulak-Balakhovich, 1917-21 in Revolutionary Russia, 1998 Issue 11.1
The best introduction to the man's activities in the Civil War.
I boevye dejstviya russkoj narodnoj dobrovolcheskoj armii in Belaya Gvardiya Almanakh No. 6.
History of the NDA, rather than Balakhovich.
N. Kakurin and V. Melikov Grashdanskaya Vojna v Rossii: Vojna c belopolyakami 2002, AST, Moscow
The full length Soviet history of the Russo-Polish War, includes a small section about the NDA campaign.
Oleg Łatyszonek Białoruskie formacje wojskowe 1917 – 1923 Białystok 1995
Can be obtained from kamunikat.org