Alexander Kolchak – White Admiral
Alexander Kolchak was a Russian military and political figure, admiral, scientist, oceanographer, polar explorer. He was a participant of the Russian-Japanese War and the First World War. In 1915-1916 he was a commander of the Imperial Baltic Fleet and in 1916-1917 he was a Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Black Sea Fleet. During the Civil War he was a Supreme Commander of the Russian army. He was one of the greatest polar explorers of the late XIX – early XX centuries, a member of a number of famous Russian polar expeditions. The Russian admiral proclaimed himself supreme ruler of Russia.
Alexander Vasilievich Kolchak was born on November 4, 1874 in St. Petersburg. In 1894 he graduated from the Russian Naval Academy.
Between 1900 and 1902 Kolchak participated in two Arctic expeditions sponsored by the Russian Academy of Sciences. The academy awarded him its gold medal for his work.
During the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) Kolchak earned the Sword of St. George for his heroism.
When World War I broke out, Kolchak was made chief of the Baltic Fleet. He was promoted to rear admiral, the youngest Russian naval officer to attain that rank. In 1916 he was appointed commander in chief of the Black Sea Fleet.
In November 1917 he was in Japan, offering his services to the British. He accepted an appointment as minister of war and navy in the anti-Bolshevik Socialist government in Omsk.
Alexander Kolchak was executed on February 7, 1920 in Irkutsk.
Kolchak’s wife, Sophia Fedorovna Kolchak, was born in 1876 in Kamenetz-Podolsk province. Her father was privy councilor Fedor Omirov. Her mother Daria Fyodorovna was the daughter of Major-General, Director of the Forest Institute F.A. Kamensky, sister of sculptor F.F. Kamensky. Sophia and Alexander got married on March 5, 1904 in Irkutsk. Sophia gave birth to three children: the first girl was born in October 1905 and lived for a month, son Rostislav was born on March 9, 1910, daughter Margarita (1912-1914) caught a cold while fleeing from the Germans and died.
Sophia Fyodorovna lived in Gatchina, and then in Libava, which she left on August 2, 1914, at the beginning of the war. From Helsingfors she moved to Sebastopol. In 1919, she was able to emigrate from Sevastopol to Constanta. Then she moved to Bucharest, and then went to Paris. She died in 1956 in Paris and was buried in the main cemetery of the Russian diaspora – Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois.
In 1939, Rostislav Kolchak was drafted into the French army and fought in the Belgian border.In 1940 he was captured by the Germans and after the war he returned to Paris. He died on June 28, 1965 and was buried next to his mother.