Col. Prince Anatol Leonid von Lieven

Col. Prince Anatol Leonid von Lieven. Born to a family of well-connected Baltic German nobility in 1872, the young Prince Lieven graduated from law school in St. Petersburg then joined the Chevalier (Cuirassier) Guard Regiment– the most upper crest unit in the Army– as a volunteer officer in 1896. Passing into the reserve list in 1898 to rejoin his buinsess and political concerns, he returned to his regiment in 1914 as a 32-year-old cornet (junior lieutenant). Earning the St. George in tough fighting near the village of Yakyany in August 1915 in which his troop broke a German position, he would rise to the rank of captain by 1916. Cashiered after the Revolution and later arrested in Febuary 1918 by the Reds, he was sent to Ekatrinberg in the Urals for safekeeping- the same city as the Tsar’s exile and execution. However, he and 161 other Germanic hostages were paroled in conjunction with the Brest-Litovsk treaty in March and Prince Lieven soon was riding as an officer of the German-allied anti-Red Baltische Landeswehr under German Maj. Gen. Rüdiger von der Goltz. Post-war, in January 1919, Lieven raised a Friekorps-style unit of his own, the Libau Volunteer Rifle Detachment, and his “Līvenieši” soon helped drive the Reds out of Riga that summer in conjunction with British forces (earning a British Military Cross in the process). Folding his regiment in with Yudenich’s Northwest White Army for the failed attempt on Petrograd in late 1919, he withdrew his band back to Latvia and laid down his arms following the collapse. He spent the interwar period as head of a brickmaking works, wrote a book about his service under several flags, and was Brother No. 1 in the Latvian Brotherhood of Russian Truth, a White Russian exile group formed by Duke George of Leuchtenberg, the former colonel of the Chevalier Guards. Prince Lieven died in Latvia in 1937, aged 64.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.