This chapter describes the evolution of Russian émigré military organizations and the eventual formation of the Russkii Obshche–Voinskii Soiuz (ROVS). Created in 1924, ROVS was in effect a federation of regimental and unit associations and of remnants of Wrangel's army. At its peak it had about 35,000 members. This made it probably the largest organization in the Russian emigration; in Bulgaria, perhaps as many as one in three of all Russian émigrés were members. Military organizations levied dues from members and raised funds through charitable balls, and used the money to provide aid to those in need. The Gallipoli Mess in Paris also served as an important cultural centre. ROVS leaders came to view their organization as a religious-military order embodying the honour of Russia and the army and preserving it for future generations. Military organizations also organized military training courses, published newspapers and pamphlets, and held courts of honour to punish members guilty of violation of discipline.
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