But from the point of view of Lenin, Trotsky, and their comrades, the outcome of the Revolution and the Civil War was only a half victory. The Communist government in Moscow was able to maintain control over central Russia in 1919-1920 partly because it was more sensitive to popular demands than were its White enemies. Allied intervention before November 1918 had included a political (“counter-revolutionary”) motivation, but its role above all had been strategic and anti-German. 58-83. This article discusses the two distinct phases of the Civil War, which were divided by the collapse of the Central Powers. This was the Polish-Soviet War, which began with a Polish thrust into Ukraine in late April 1920, and was followed by the capture of Kiev in May. In the rump of European Russia, the Communists moved their capital to the less exposed city of Moscow, and began trying to organise a “professional” Red Army. The decisive Polish victory resulted in the establishment of the Russo-Polish border that existed until 1939. Russia's Continuum of Crisis, 1914-1921, Cambridge 2002. While the civil war both banks and industries were kept nationalized. Superimposed on these three conflicts were outside forces, the Central Powers and the Allies, which tried to exploit the situation in Russia to their advantage. The German Empire created several short-lived satellite buffer states within its sphere of influence after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk: the United Baltic Duchy, Duchy of Courland and Semigallia, Kingdom of Lithuania, Kingdom of Poland,[8] the Belarusian People's Republic, and the Ukrainian State. In May 1918 it was making its way out of Russia with the aim of joining the Allied forces in France. [18] The anti-Communist cause in South Russia had also been bedevilled by internal conflicts between the Denikin’s “White” leadership, on the one hand, and minority nationalists (especially the Ukrainians) and advocates of Cossack autonomy, on the other. Casualties and consequences of the war As many as 10 million lives were lost as a result of the Russian Civil War, and the overwhelming majority of these were civilian casualties. ), Secondly, in November 1918 an authoritarian, ostensibly all-Russian, government was created in Omsk (Siberia) under an Allied-supported leader, Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak (1874-1920). The Russian Civil War (Russian: Гражданская война в России, tr. The allied powers intervened in the civil war on the side of the white army to renew the war… The Central Powers had already been fighting Russia for three years. Based on a pre-modern system of military settlement, highly militarised, and wary of Russian and Ukrainian in-migrants, the Cossacks appeared to be a reliable base for counter-revolution, like the Vendée of the French Revolution. See especially Landis, Erik: Bandits and Partisans. [6] The Germans installed a Ukrainian nationalist government in Kiev. The Tsarist Elite in Revolutionary Russia, Oxford 2010. of the Russian Civil War The Battle of Tsaritsyn was a military confrontation between Bolshevik forces and the White Army during the Russian Civil War. Others on the left, notably the Marxist Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924), argued for a completely different form of government, based on local workers’ councils (“soviets”). In September 1863, a Russian fleet of six warships headed … They also understood that the impending counterrevolutionary resistance was more dangerous than the concessions of the treaty, which Lenin viewed as temporary in the light of aspirations for a world revolution. Pearce, Brian: How Haig Saved Lenin, New York 1987. Omsk fell in November 1919. A further 50,000 may have been victims of the corresponding "White Terror". The consequences of this have ricocheted down the decades to the present day. The Russian Civil War was a large conflict over the former Russian Empire.The collapse of the Russian empire in 1917 triggered a complex series of interlocking conflicts that lasted into the 1920s and are estimated to have cost 13 million lives, mostly civilian victims of famine and of the massacre and depredation practiced by all sides in the Civil War. On December 1922, when the Soviet Union or USSR was created, the non-Russian nationals were given political autonomy. In mid-December 1919 a withdrawal was organized by Walter von Eberhardt from Lithuania to East Prussia, finally back on German soil. The World War front line had meanwhile remained relatively stable as the Central Powers were content to await the collapse of Bolshevik power. Russian Civil War Quiz. They were angry because Lenin had left the war and they wanted Russia's debts to be repaid.  Estonia Latvia Lithuania Kolchak received some British support in the form of military supplies, but he failed to set off an upsurge of anti-Soviet action in the regions his armies entered. The Komuch “army” nevertheless was able to advance up the Volga from Samara as far as Kazan - to within 550 miles of Moscow. The Russian Civil War (Russian: Гражданская война в России, tr. This was transformed into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922. Section Editors: Boris Kolonit͡skiĭ; Nikolaus Katzer. Kolchak’s train retreated east to Irkutsk, where the admiral was handed over by his Czechoslovak bodyguards. From the Secret Archive, New Haven 1996. Thousands of perceived opponents of the Bolsheviks were murdered by the Cheka, and life among the peasants was miserable. However, by 1917 Russia was on its back foot with Germany and Austria having lost Poland, Lithuania and parts of West Belarus. Bullock concludes that in total between 7 and 14 … During the Russian Civil War (1918–20), the Cossacks were divided. November 1918 marked an abrupt and fundamental change. Brovkin, Vladimir: Behind the Front Lines of the Russian Civil War. This withdrawal would create a large power vacuum as nations that barely declared independent found it difficult to scrape up an army to defend itself from the Soviet advance. A “state conference” was organised in Ufa, between the Volga and the Urals, in September 1918. [3] In August 1917 the Army commander-in-chief, General Lavr Kornilov (1870-1918), attempted unsuccessfully to assert military control over Petrograd in August and destroy the forces of the left. The Revolution meaning the Bolshevik Revolution (Novdmber 1917) and resulting Civil War was a catalclismic event in Russian history. December 18 th - France enters the Russian Civil War by sending troops to the city of Odessa in alliance with the Whites. Supported by the Allied Powers: Central Powers intervention in the Russian Civil War consisted of a series of multi-national military expeditions starting in 1918. Although there was a significant amount of internal dissent in both town and countryside in the Soviet zone, this could not challenge the Communist political hold.[19]. The Allies, especially the British and French, could give direct support to Russian elements which had been “loyal” to them during the World War. The Red Army had also been distracted by a final campaign against General Vrangel. The Russian Civil War was a deadly war in the country for the casualties reached 7,000,000 to 12,000,000 people. [4] Other places rejected the authority of the new government, among them the army headquarters at Mogilev (in Belarus), the Cossack (kazak) territories of eastern and southern Russia, and some regions - notably in Ukraine - where a rival claim to power was based on national self-determination.[5]. The direct involvement of the French Army ended with this fiasco. Following the defeat of Germany in World War I in November 1918, these states were abolished. Russian Civil War (1918–20), conflict in which the Red Army successfully defended the newly formed Bolshevik government led by Vladimir Lenin against various Russian and interventionist anti-Bolshevik armies. However, another confrontation erupted, which has been interpreted either as a third “Entente campaign” or as further Soviet aggression. [3][4] Even before the failed summer offensive the Russian population was very skeptical about the continuation of the war. Small Allied forces held the northern ports and Vladivostok. This is an apt description. With this began civil war. Blog. The Russian Civil War that followed is a horrifying story of savage carnage and obscene violence. Communist control over Russia was still tenuous, but by February 1918 there were no major centres openly opposing the Petrograd government. See Foglesong, David: America's Secret War Against Bolshevism. The First Year Of The Volunteer Army, Berkeley 1971. In the summer and autumn of 1919, the combined forces of the Volunteer Army and the Cossacks - Denikin’s “Armed Forces of South Russia” (AFSR) - were able to drive as far north as Orel, only 250 miles from Moscow, the so-called “second Entente campaign”. Lenin’s government opened peace negotiations. Several units turned into unofficial German units such as the Freikorps, Landeswehr and Bermotians. ): Soviet Union--History--Revolution, 1917-1921. Farms produced only 37 % of the normal production. [5], On 16 December 1917 an armistice was signed between Russia and the Central Powers in Brest-Litovsk and peace talks began. Direct action by British, French, American, and Japanese military forces in 1918 was confined to occupation of remote ports in the northern parts of European Russia and of Vladivostok on the Pacific. While it is not a comprehensive list of all skirmishes, conflicts, or battles that took place in the Russian Civil War, we have tried to include as many military events and actions as possible. An early attempt to capture the Kuban capital of Ekaterinodar from Red forces resulted in Kornilov’s death. Swain, Geoffrey: The Origins of Russian Civil War, London 1995. By mid-summer Kolchak had been defeated and his forces thrown back beyond the Urals, never to return. [7] Signing a formal peace treaty was the only option in the eyes of the Bolsheviks because the Russian Army was demobilized, and the newly formed Red Guard was incapable of stopping the advance. General Anton Denikin (1872-1947) succeeded him, and during the summer the Volunteers were able, with counter-revolutionary Kuban Cossacks, to take control in the Kuban. Civil War History: How Stonewall Jackson Met His End nationalinterest.org - Warfare History Network. The Tsar’s abdication was followed by the creation of a Provisional Government in Petrograd, based initially on the Tsarist State Duma. Hagen, Mark von: War in a European Borderland. Meanwhile Kolchak’s army endured a long retreat east along the Trans-Siberian railway, harried by partisan bands, riddled by typhus, and subject to the extremes of the Siberian winter. This came to a head after the final defeat of organised White military forces in the autumn of 1920 in rural regions, like Tambov, and at Petrograd and Kronstadt. Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1917-1920, Chapel Hill 1995. Facts about Russian Civil War 5: the pro independence movements. The treaty of B-L provided the context for the Civil War. Attempts by the anti-Bolsheviks to create a rival authority to Moscow had little success. The main base of operations of these new armies was in the Baltics fighting in the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian War of Independence with the goal of maintaining German supremacy in the region. Leon Trotsky, representing the Bolsheviks, refused at first to sign the treaty while continuing to observe a unilateral cease-fire, following the policy of "No war, no peace". They were, in practice, comprised of ad hoc groups opposed to both the Bolsheviks, and sometimes each other, and were outnumbered and overstretched thanks to controlling a smaller population over a huge area. The second was the attempt by peripheral regions of the Russian Empire to break away. In the summer of 1918 the Germans (now occupying the eastern Ukraine) supported the consolidation of a conservative government in the Don Cossack “host territory”. The Russian Civil War had three dimensions: The first was the struggle between the new Communist government and its organised “counter-revolutionary” opponents, in which the issues were primarily political and social. They had won the most popular support in the November 1917 elections to the All-Russian Constituent Assembly (which the Bolsheviks had dispersed in January 1918).[7]. On a cordon sanitaire along the western Front was coming to a peace,... 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