Page 50. " They were hard working, hard drinking Cossacks who had somehow amassed..... "

 

Cossacks were members of military communities in Southern Russia and the Ukraine.

19th century Cossacks
Public Domain19th century Cossacks

The Cossacks had a sense of being a separate and elite community, which gave them a strong sense of loyalty to the Tsarist government.  Cossack units were often used to suppress domestic disorder, but also fought in the world wars, Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War.  

During the Russian Civil War that followed the Revolution of 1917, the Cossacks found themselves on both sides of the conflict. Many officers and experienced Cossacks fought for the White Army and some for the Red Army.