On the Number of Insurgents in Military District-4 “Hoverla” (1944-1949)

ILNYTSKYJ V.I.

  • In the article for the first time it is attempted to uncover one of the most difficult questions
    in the study of the development of the Ukrainian national liberation movement, videlicet, – the
    insurgents’ number in Military District (hence – MD) – 4 “Hoverla”. In order to specify their
    total number, which is far from being an easy task, an analysis of the previously inaccessible
    archive materials have been made by the author. The problems in concerning the totaling under
    question are caused by both the lack of an integral complex of the respective sources and the
    exacting conspiracy, which put under a ban the divulging of actual military personnel number
    of the unit and subunit. Besides, the dynamic nature of the guerilla and insurgent phenomena
    brings about the additional hardship of the specification of the aforementioned MD’s military
    personnel number. It is possible to estimate the approximate figures over a period of time only.
    However, even these figures could significantly differ in a brief space of time (especially before
    and after “the great blockade”). The documents of the underground work, which would
    adequately characterize the quantitative indicators of the insurgents are absent, whereas the
    remaining sporadic ones are too fragmentary and disembodied to provide an integral picture.
    On the other hand, the materials of the party and repressive-punitive organs give a certain
    chance. The party documents are the most contradictory. What concerns the documents of the
    repressive-punitive organs, they are more reliable in this respect, because they are basically less
    politized. That is why the author was conditioned to rest on his own calculations which, given
    their relative inexactitude, nonetheless, present orienting numerical characteristics of the
    insurgents acting on the territory of MD-4 “Hoverla”. In the article the dynamics of the change
    of the Ukrainian nationalists’ quantity, as well as the tendency to decreasing of the insurgents’
    number with time has been shown. According to the author’s calculations, in November, 1944,
    on the territory of MD-4 “Hoverla” there were enacted 52 Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA)
    companies, which – accounting for the fact that each consisted of some 150-180 man – will
    make up nearly 7800-9360 fighters. Accordingly, by January, 1945 there were 51 companies,
    that is 7650-9180 men; by autumn 1945 there were 26 units (each numbering from 40 to 60
    men), which totaled some 2350-2960; by summer 1946 there functioned 23 units and 10 subunits
    (each counting from 40 to 60), that totals some 1320-1980; by January 1948 in action there still were
    3 units in tactical division (TD) (“Hutsulshchyna” (“The Hutsul Land”) and 5 units in TD
    – 24 “Makivka” (the mountain’s name). Taking into consideration, that the strength of each
    unit varied from 40 to 50, the UIA members are estimated as many as 320-400. In 1949 there
    remained in action a some 20 men strong group in TD-21 “Hutsulshchyna” headed by P. Melnyk,
    and a like some 20 men strong subunion 479 (belonging to union 91) in TD-24 “Makivka”. All
    that enables the following prйcis: MD-4 “Hoverla” was the most numerous in the structure of
    the UIA-West and functioned the longest in comparison with the other similar bodies.

  • ILNYTSKYJ V.I. – Ph.D., Assosiate Professor, Drohobych State Pedagogical University named after Ivan Franko.

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