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Mongolian army 013th divishion General

History of Mongolian army

The provisional national government in March 1921 declared that every male in the country, regardless of class, must perform military service. This compulsory service included the large numbers of monks and others who traditionally had been exempt, although in practice monks were not conscripted during the 1920s. The new government also proclaimed that it could declare war, negotiate peace, and determine budgets. A Mongolian-Russian accord signed on November 5, 1921, provided Russian assistance in organizing a regular army and in conducting training. In addition, special Comintern representatives eventually set up a military council in the government and propagated militant communism. Thus began a continuing close military association between the Soviet Union and Mongolia, which has endured with varying intensity through 1989 (see Foreign Relations , ch. 4). This association helped to communize and modernize Mongolia, as well as to provide the Soviet Union with a loyal ally and a buffer against Japan and later China.

In the early 1920s, Russian White Guard remnants remained as brigands in remote parts of Mongolia, and Chinese bandits and detachments of warlord armies constantly encroached upon the borders. Thus one of the first orders of business for the new Mongolian government was to establish a strong and politically reliable army. To help suppress White Guard remnants and Chinese bandits and to carry out Comintern policy, detachments of the Soviet Red Army remained in Mongolia at least until 1925. Thereafter, until the revolts of the early 1930s and the Japanese border probes beginning in the mid-1930s, Red Army troops in Mongolia amounted to little more than instructors and guards for diplomatic and trading installations.

The development and politicization of the Mongolian People's Army became an essential element of the Comintern's plan for Mongolia. As early as August 1921, the Main Political Administration of the army was established to supervise the work of the political commissars and the party cells in all army units, and to act as a political link between the Central Committee of the Mongolian People's Party and the army (see Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party , ch. 4). This politicization of the army served not only to ensure its loyalty, but also that of the government at large. Up to one-third of the soldiers were members of the party, which became the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party in 1924; still others belonged to the Mongolian Revolutionary Youth League. The army received up to 60 percent of the government budget in these early years, and it expanded from 2,560 men in 1923 to 4,000 in 1924, and to 17,000 by 1927. The more leftist members of the government, who also were prominent in the party, tended to be connected with the army as well, which made the army an important political force in the 1920s. With the close cooperation of the Red Army and the Mongolian and Soviet secret police, purges of rightists and nationalists were conducted, and the Buddhist theocracy was severely curtailed.